Irene Chavez, from the Mason County sheriff’s department on Puget Sound investigates the death of a young woman from an influential family on vacation. The Paris family descends every summer to spend time together at the old family summer place on the shore. But some families have secrets that can be deadly. Rosalie Paris finds a body while off picking blackberries early one Sunday morning in August. Ann Paris, sister-in-law, was found floating face down in the slough, a short distance from Puget Sound. Ann had been out sailing the night before and was killed by a blow to the head. Did the accident occur during sailing or is it murder? Irene inserts herself into the family – including father, siblings and assorted relatives while getting to know them at a depth they don’t even acknowledge themselves.
A single parent raising a fourteen year old boy on her own, Irene, widowed, her husband mugged and killed in Los Angeles, decides that Puget Sound is safer place to raise a teen. With her police experience in a bigger city, and the sheriff’s department short staffed, she handles the investigation on her own.
As this police procedural develops and gives an in depth look at an influential but fractured family, their lives are revealed until the final moment when you learn what truly happened to Ann.