Senator Lyle Simmons returns home from a speaking engagement to find his wife Jeannette dead on the floor--murdered. He doesn't call the police. Instead, he calls his best friend Phil Rotondi, and his son Neil, who calls the police. Detectives Charlie Chang and Amanda Widletz are assigned to the case with Chang as lead detective. The senator dislikes Chang whom he finds rude, and offensive, and wants him off the case. However, his superiors will not accommodate the senator. They consider Chang top notch with an eye for detail. Chang's partner considers him a cold s.o.b. but admires him for his professionalism.
The senator's son is a lobbyist and is the president of The Marshalk Group one of the top lobbyist groups in D.C. Neil is a mere figurehead in this position, which his father had secured for him. Phil Rotondi had been the senator's best friend since college days. He had also been Jeannette's lover in college until Lyle took up with Jeannette when Phil was off on a debate weekend, and Lyle got Jeannette pregnant. Phil, who came from humble means, went off to law school. Lyle, who came from a wealthy family, married Jeannette, and he, too, went to law school. Phil was devastated, but he did not hold a grudge. He kept in touch with Lyle and Jeannette through the years. Lyle and Jeanette had two children, Neil and Polly who was opposed to all her father's political views.
Phil became a U.S. attorney and married Kathleen. On the night he and Kathleen were returning from his retirement party, they were accosted by a thug, a thug that Phil had prosecuted and sent to jail for a number of years. The thug opened fire on them killing Kathleen and shooting Phil in the leg. Phil was hospitalized for months. He now walks with a cane and is in chronic pain.
Two weeks before Jeannette died, she visited Phil and gave him documents that implicated her husband and the Marshalk Group showing that the group was laundering money and funneling it into the senator's campaigns.
One of the lobbyist from the Marshalk Group is a prime suspect for the murder of Jeannette, Jonell Marbury. Mac Smith is defending him. It seems that a glass with his fingerprints was found in the Simmons' kitchen and an African-American hair belong to Jonell was found in the Simmons' bathroom. Jonell, who delivered an enveloped to Jeannette on the day she was murdered. denies ever going into the Simmons' house.
This book is well written with an intricate and complex plot.