Cassandra Thorpe's days of investigating law cases in the sleazy South of Market area of San Francisco are about to end--and she couldn't be happier. She's leaving the horror of the public defender's office behind, and is headed for the hills of Santa Rosa, a private practice, and the nice, quiet, upwardly mobile California lifestyle she deserves. But nothing is that simple. When a homeless man wanders into her office with a crazy story about drug dealers, land appropriators, and buried treasure, Cass thinks nothing of it. But when he later turns up murdered, she is drawn into the case of her life--a case that will force her to come to terms with the ghosts of her own past as she fights to solve the crime and save her life.