The murder of a long-missing woman, the death of a mentor, and the suicide of Key West's mayor are revealed on a warm April day. Alex Rutledge, a freelance photographer with ties to city and county law enforcement, first must help friend Sam Wheeler identify a body in Ft. Lauderdale. Hours later, in Key West, Rutledge documents the mayor's demise. He also is forced to confront the death of Naomi Douglas, who encouraged his creative photography. All this on the day before Alex's departure for a big-dollar photo job on Grand Cayman Island.
Home-front troubles compound his dilemmas. Teresa Barga, his housemate, is absorbed by Whitney Randolph, an old college friend with cash, bent morals, and more alibis than an octopus has suckers. Randolph, he learns, has slithered into the suspense, linking himself to both scam and murder victims. The police see no crimes. Only Alex senses foul play. And when out-of-character friends, duplicitous officials, and violence take him to labyrinths of corruption, he is faced with the most dangerous encounter of his life.