Alma Terrebonne thought she was done with Montana, with its cruel poverty, bleak winters, and stifling ways. Hard work and steely resolve got her to Yale, and now she's an attorney in a high-profile Seattle law firm. But an unexpected call from the Montana police takes the successful lawyer back to her provincial hometown and pulls her into the family trouble she thought she'd escaped.
Her lying, party-loving younger sister, Vicky, is dead. The Billings police say that a very drunk Vicky wandered away from a party and died of exposure after a night in the brutal cold. But once Alma is back in town, she discovers that Vicky's death may not have been an accident. Needing to make peace with the sister she left behind, Alma sets out to find the truth.