Pickett is a rich man by many of the standards that count most. A widower and retired Toronto cop, he owns his city home free and clear, he has a good pension and enough savings in the bank, and he's just rebuilt a century-old log cabin in a rustic area north of the city. Life for Pickett seems almost idyllic as he settles in with his dog, Willis, to enjoy a peaceful existence in his cabin. He begins to build ties to the town of Larch River - to police chief Lyman Caxton, to the local dramatic society, and, most of all, to Charlotte Mercer, who manages a small cafe and gives him hope that he may not be too old for romance after all. Pickett's police days are supposedly over, but he can't help being an interested spectator when young Timmy Marlow is found mauled and shot to death near a wooded trail just a mile or two from Pickett's cabin. The death is a shock to the community. For Timmy's sister, Betty Cullen, it is a catastrophe. She suspects that her brother, a womanizer, may have been killed by a jealous husband, and the shame is enough to drive her from Larch River. But is the answer to the murder so simple? When an arrest is finally made, Pickett questions whether justice has been done. A twisted trail into the victim's past takes Pickett a thousand miles away to uncover the shocking information that brings him back to the truth.