Journalist Campbell McBride's first crime book, The Law Town Killers, is a success but now it's attracting some unwanted attention. McBride's going to have to return to what, when he wrote about it, seemed like a straightforward murder case – a woman strangled by her boyfriend. Otherwise, somebody he cares about might be at risk.
Soon nothing is straightforward – not for McBride. Somebody is cutting up newspaper archives before he can examine them. Are they trying to stop his investigation or are they trying to tell him something? Whether he's being led or obstructed, McBride starts to think that an innocent man is in jail for murder and that there might be something significant about the black tie that was used to throttle the victim. Does it somehow link the crime to the police force? Does it show that the murder was just one in a grisly series of young girls strangled?
If McBride can't figure out what exactly has prompted these seemingly senseless, malicious crimes, then another person is due to fall victim to the killer. And this time it might be McBride's turn to suffer at the killer's hands.