When Drum picks up a hitchhiker, trouble follows her into the car.
A monsoon is hammering Washington, D.C., when Chester Drum spots Anita Sparrow on the roadside in the middle of the night. Sixteen, frail, and soaking wet, she is trying to find help for her brother, Donny, a photographer with cerebral palsy who was beaten nearly to death a mile up the road. Drum takes Donny to the hospital and drives Anita home, where he finds her house ransacked, her brother’s darkroom destroyed. It seems Donny took a picture of something he wasn’t supposed to see, and powerful men will kill to ensure the negative is never developed.
On top of it all, Drum soon learns that the Sparrows have ties to some of the biggest names inside the Beltway, and Anita is not as innocent as she appears. Her family story simmers with pornography, corruption, and murder - not polite topics for dinner table conversation, but ones that make Chester Drum feel right at home.