The outside man is society lawyer Adam Shaw. A northerner in a southern town jealous of its secrets, he finds the dead body of his best friend's wealthy wife -- and his friend is missing.
In a world where wealthy people will stop at nothing to maintain a genteel image, Shaw must gamble his career, his marriage, and his very life in a passionate quest for the real murderer -- and learn the shocking truth about his own past and future . . . .
"A classic detective story." -- The New York Times Book Review
"Rich, complex, beautifully written." -- The New Republic
"Richard North Patterson seems destined for celebrity status, alongside Scott Turow and John Grisham, as an acknowledged master." -- Los Angeles Times Book Review