Rusty Sabich is chief deputy prosecutor for Kindle County, his boss Raymond Horgan is up for re-election, and his associate Carolyn Polhemus has been brutally raped and murdered in her apartment. The upcoming election will determine if Rusty will have a job. And we learn that Rusty had an affair with Carolyn which she ended several months earlier.
Rusty is handling the investigation of the murder despite the conflict of interest that only he is aware of. His friend, Dan Lipramzer is investigating the crime. They first focus on convicted sex offenders that Carolyn helped to prosecute. Then Rusty learns that his boss Horgan had a brief relationship with Carolyn. Meanwhile Rusty's marriage is in a shambles as his wife Barbara knows about his affair. As evidence surfaces that implicates Rusty he is arrested for the killing.
The prosecution is led by Nico Della "Delay" Guardia, who has now defeated Horgan for the position of Prosecuting Attorney, and Tommy Molto. The evidence against Rusty is serious; calls made from his home to hers on the night of the murder, a bar glass with his fingerprints on it, carpet fibers matching those at his house are found at her home, etc. The courtroom drama that ensues takes many turns for and against him. By the end of the book we do discover who the killer. This is a good read.