George is Beckett is naïve. He's invited to a party at the home of super-rich Senator Gregory and envisions himself shaking the senator's hand, telling him he admires his work and learning something about the Washington scene. Instead, he witnesses two of the senator's nephews molest a virtually unconscious girl. It's the turning point in his life.
George castigates himself for not doing something about the rape until it's over. He's even more unhappy when both the father of the girl and a representative from the Gregory family come to solicit his help. The Gregory's want him to cover-up what he saw. The girl's father wants justice.
Years later another murder on Cape Cod appears to involve the Gregorys. George is now an Assistant District Attorney. He owes his job to the Gregorys, but can he let this murder go by and not do the right thing?
The super-rich, politically well connected family is featured in the book, but the story isn't about the crimes or misdemeanors committed by family members, it's about the cover-up of those criminal behaviors and what happens to the people who are bought off. It affects each life in a different way, but all the people who accept the largess to keep quiet are changed.
The story opens well. Although it's clear from the beginning who is responsible for the murder and rape, the story has momentum because the main character, George, follows the clues and changes his outlook by what he finds. That said, the book begins to drag about halfway through. George visits a great many people but asks basically the same questions. It gets boring, but there is enough violence to keep the story moving.
The setting is good. Wallace clearly knows Cape Cod. The other settings are well done although they range from Idaho to Costa Rica. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it as a character study rather than a mystery.
I reviewed this book for Net Galley.