In southeast Minnesota, a school board meeting is coming to an end. The chairman announces that the rest of the meeting will be closed to only a few--for personal issues. The remaining members vote on the fate of a local reporter. And it's unanimous…
Meanwhile, Virgil Flowers is investigating a dognapping crime wave in a Mississippi River town when he gets a call from Lucas Davenport. A corpse has been found, and the victim is local reporter Clancy Conley. Virgil has no idea where this is all headed. All he knows for sure is that things are getting nasty in Buchanan County.