Pariche had urged his friend to go south. How was he to know it would end in murder?
Soren Karlsson is in the throes of a premature midlife crisis. His girlfriend has just walked out on him and his increasingly dead-end existence as an associate professor at Berkeley. He needs a break, and an extended trip to Mississippi would appear to be the answer. As he sits, contemplating this, aloft Porter's Mount, in his beloved Berkshires, he is unaware of what a certain Jedemiah Pariche has been up to, on his behalf, whilst he's been away. Pariche, a cantankerous individual, with a life-long involvement in civil rights, sees it as his duty to look out for his good friend, especially in regards to the likes of Charlie Wilson, one of the dreaded `committee people' and a person Pariche dismissively refers to as the "acting" dean. In league with his new-found sidekick, a two-bit hoodlum from the streets called Flaxel Boeteng, Wilson is plotting Soren's downfall. And Soren is now having doubts about the trip too; the state of Mississippi, in the Deep South, appears to be a formidably daunting place and a world away from the cosy liberal life he enjoys out on the west coast. In addition, there is also the safety of his mother, Christina, to consider. As a senior state's Senator for Massachusetts, she is in the process of investigating a Mafiosi hoodlum well known for violence and the harbouring of grudges. And to cap it all, Soren has commitment issues; something that has seen him lose the only real love of his life. Or so he thinks. For Virginia, now a detective with the Pittsburgh Police, is about to walk back into his life.