While blithely trespassing in a Massachusetts wetland, a plant thief stumbles across a corpse: Sandra Nichols, who had been missing for months, was found bludgeoned to death. Time had provided the suspects - especially Peter Wade, Sandra's super-rich ex - with easy alibis. Murder One? The D.A. knows better: prosecutors do not seek unwinnable cases. Wrongful Death - a civil action that requires proof of motive, means, access to a weapon, and only 51 percent certainty - is the route unflappable Judge Henry Lawler pursues. And the judge has his reasons for appointing classmate Jerry Kennedy to try what becomes Estate of Sandra Nichols v. Peter Wade. Kennedy is known for defending scoundrels accused of murder, armed robbery, MV manslaughter, and tax evasion. So, as Jerry Kennedy himself asks, "Why did I take the mixed breed Wade-Nichols case, the hardest case I never tried? Which looked like it was civil but was really criminal? And, when you came right down to it, de facto made me into what I'd never been before in my whole life, a ... prosecutor?" The fun begins when Jerry starts poking around, talking to the right people (including Sandra's orphaned kids), and reviewing the files gathered by Detective Royce Whitlock. Once he becomes aware of a missing clue, things begin to fall in place, and savvy readers will recognize that they're in the hands of a master.