Daniel Perrault, a flashy French entrepreneur, moves to a rural American county believing his refined taste will transform the beautiful but backwater region into a cosmopolitan destination. When his body is found, the suspect list is long, but the circumstances are peculiar. Who wrapped his body in a sleeping bag, leaving it roadside in the middle of the night in quiet, insular Wayne County? And why did the killer want the body found, and identified, quickly?
The victim’s brash style rubbed many the wrong way, and the investigating sheriff, Spike Stryker, soon compiles an eclectic list of possible suspects: his unpaid contractor, a resentful neighbor, his bipolar chef, a bitter businesswoman, his teenage biracial mistress, his wife. And behind the county’s pastoral veils, a suspicious, clannish population inhabits the forested hollows. Each interview the sheriff conducts slowly reveals the story behind the rise and fall of Daniel Perrault and leads to a motive and the killer. A twist at the end, however, makes clear absolution will never occur, for anyone.