When Jerzy Schroeder, a shadowy gray-market hustler and aspiring crony capitalist, is murdered while Josie Kendall is hitting him up for a million dollars to help him cash in on alternative-energy funding, the police suspect her of adultery and her husband, Rafe, of homicide. Josie, who works for Majority Values Coalition, an "activist fundraising organization", is a new but passionate Washington, DC player. Rafe, long a Washington insider, is passionate about Josie and about supporting her learning curve on how Washington works.
For Josie and Rafe, this isn't a murder investigation but a political damage-control problem. They'll need a full arsenal, since, as one capital insider points out, "A damage control strategy that hasn't succeeded within 30 days has failed." They attack the issue with an array of finely tuned skills: strategic leaks, manipulation of the media, judicious use of inside information, and a flexible attitude toward the truth - plus the assistance of Josie's uncle Darius, a veteran spin doctor with surprising connections who is, luckily, out on parole. Along the way Josie will have to decide whether there are ethical lines that even she won't cross.
In this House of Cards scenario, determining who actually murdered Schroeder is a low-priority problem, but Josie manages to do that as well. It's all in a day's - or, rather, 30 days' - work.