After assisting in taking down a Mafia operated porn and sex ring using underage girls in Toronto, Palatini Knight, Walter Eloy Goe, needs to kick back and wind down. How better than with a “little more than” friend, Joyce Farmer, in sleepy little Shell Knob, Missouri where headlines of the weekly paper are comprised of simple news like birthdays, vegetable gardens, and too much or too little rain. Shortly after checking into Miss Farmer's Lakeside Resort a disturbing 911 call comes into the local sheriff, “I've's got me a body layin' out here, and she's a-lookin' deader ‘n' hell.” News of a young girl, dead and laid out naked in a patch of blackberry brambles, spreads like wildfire and panics the community. No one can remember such a brutal, cold-blooded murder ever occurring in this quiet little town. Just like that, Walter, a stranger to the community and newly arrived guest of Miss Farmer, becomes a person of interest to the Barry County Sheriff. Walter must solve the case before incriminating secrets from his shadowy past can be discovered. He acquires useful information by assisting a local, inexperienced, newspaper reporter to uncover nefarious circumstances, unknown and unsuspected by law-abiding citizens of this community. Two Palatini associates come to his rescue. The trio discover they are playing a game that has put them in harm's way as they follow a trail of corruption, greed, and murder from Missouri to Alaska and back, all the while leaving bodies in their wake.