When a local girl, Dani Marsh, returns to Alpine a star to shoot a Hollywood film, the tension in the air is so thick it crackles. Then at the annual Loggerama, Dani's former husband, Cody Graff goes berserk with an axe and is later found dead. Reporting on on all the goings-on as the editor of the 'Advocate', Emma Lord begins to suspect that neither she nor the sheriff, laconic Milo Dodge, is getting the real story. Why are there such strong feelings among those who knew Dani back when? Why so few tears for Cody Graff? Whence the impenetrable mystery that enfolds Alpine like a shroud? Emma's nose for a story leads her straight into trouble.