A thriller's pacing. Vivid Southern locales. Witty dialogue and wry observation about what passes for news on TV...and truth in our lives. Jolie Marston is a TV news reporter with scruples. Her new boss would sell his granny's soul for a few ratings points. When he orders her to distort another meritless story, she explodes during a live broadcast. Her career is kaput. Blown too is her chance to cover Memphis's biggest story of the year: the slaying of a respected former mayor. When the police investigation stalls, Jolie vows to find justice. She has a deep tie to the victim: He'd been mentor and friend from her hometown in the foothills of the Smokies. Reeling from her public downfall and a failing romance, Jolie returns to that small town to start a video business. She's also there to find out who she is now that the identity she took for granted is gone. Solving the murder becomes her proving ground as she unearths a life the ex-mayor's public persona hid-one of prostitutes, drugs and danger. Jolie chases down leads in sassy, blues-steeped Memphis, tiny antebellum La Grange and her east Tennessee hometown of Singleton. Her ally in sleuthing is Martin, Singleton's wealthy, clever, discreetly gay bon vivant. They find intrigue and deceit woven through generations and discover that exposing the lies people live by can have fatal consequences.