""… probably ranks as the best book I’ve read during the past year." "
Disgraced Chicago journalist Randall Wilkes returns to Pilgrim's Rest, his hometown, to consider the offer of a job. His childhood friend, Sonny McMahan, is a former state governor who is considering running for re-election. He thinks that his profile might be improved by a flattering autobiography, ghost-written by Randall. Although Randall reluctantly agrees to undertake the task, within days he stumbles upon the murdered body of Sonny's mother Faye McMahan. This is soon followed the murder of others with connections to the McMahan family and by an attempt on Randall's life. These violent events appear to be connected to the body of Confederate soldiers from the Civil War and plans for a conference and research centre focusing on this period of history.
Soon Randall is more interested in discovering why so many of those connected to the McMahan family are being murdered than drafting an autobiography. As he investigates further he is forced to confront the difficult relationship with his father who still lives in the town and his own personal history in order to discover the truth behind the murders.