Some believe violence foreign to our nature. Dan 'Sticks' Hetrick, retired chief and now consultant to the Swatara Creek police department, knows better. We put a lid on our natural tendency to violence when we started living in groups, devising moral codes to hold it in check and allow us to live in harmony with others. But, deep down in the id—the site of instinct—there's always that tendency to violence. When an out-of-state reporter is found murdered at a disreputable bar the tendency to violence spirals in the rural Pennsylvania community, and the investigative trail keeps bringing Hetrick and his team back to the family of a wealthy doctor who has come home to retire. Hetrick and his protégé Officer Flora Vastine are joined by an old friend from his State Police days as they unravel old secrets and mysteries in a tale with as many shocking twists as a country road.