No one was surprised when Aaron Crown was arrested for the decades-old murder of the most famous black civil rights leader in Louisiana. After all, his family were shiftless timber people who brought their ways into the Cajun wetlands--trailing rumors of ties to the Ku Klux Klan. Only Dave Robicheaux, to whom Crown proclaims his innocence, worries that Crown had been made a scapegoat for the collective guilt of a generation.
But when Buford LaRose, scion of an old Southern family and author of a book that sent Crown to prison, is elected governor, strange things start to happen. Dave is offered a job as head of the state police; a documentary filmmaker seeking to prove Crown's innocence is killed; and the governor's wife--a former flame--once again turns her seductive powers on Dave. It's clear that Dave must find out the dark truth about Aaron Crown, a truth that too many people want to remain hidden.