It's been a long time since criminal defence attorney David Cavanaugh has heard his childhood friend Chris Kincaid speak of Marilyn Maloney; for hers is a name from the past, from a time when David, Chris and the third in the gang of three, Mike, vowed never to let a girl get in the way of their friendship.
But now Chris is the 'successful, happily married US Senator for New Jersey', and when he pleads with David to return home to help him locate the girl he 'used' to love, David reluctantly agrees, leaving his wife and baby daughter behind in Boston.
What starts as a favour to a friend soon turns into a major murder investigation when a woman's bruised and battered body is hauled from the freezing waters of the Passaic. Marilyn is dead, Chris is charged with her murder, and David faces the harrowing responsibility of defending one childhood friend accused of killing another.
Buried family secrets, devastating lies, and a seemingly uncatchable killer plague David as he races toward a trial which seems impossible to win. Worse still, he soon discovers that proving Chris's innocence is linked to an unthinkable mistake...made by someone very close to him, many years before...