When Detective Sergeant Duncan Hatcher is summoned to the home of Judge Cato Laird in the middle of the night to investigate a fatal shooting, he knows that discretion and kid-glove treatment are the keys to staying in the judge's good graces and keeping his job. At first glance, the case appears open-and-shut - Elise, the judge's trophy wife, interrupted a burglary in progress and killed the intruder in self-defense. But Duncan is immediately suspicious of Elise's innocent act. His gut feeling is that her account of the shooting is only partially true - and it's the parts she's leaving out that bother him. Determined to learn the dead man's connection to the Lairds and get at the truth, Duncan investigates further and quickly finds his career, as well as his integrity, in jeopardy - because he can't deny his increasing attraction to Elise Laird, even if she is a married woman, a proven liar, and a murder suspect. When Elise seeks Duncan out privately and makes an incredible allegation, he initially dismisses it as the manipulative lie of a guilty woman. But what if she's telling the truth? Then that single fatal gunshot at her home takes on even more sinister significance, possibly involving Duncan's nemesis, the brutal crime lord Robert Savich.