Detective turned PI Joe Goodey's luck has just about run out. And it wasn't all that great to begin with.
Goodey is low on cash, friends and bars that will serve him a decent drink. So, when a rich businessman comes to Goodey with a case - find out who killed the man's niece, Katie Pierce - the former detective jumps at the opportunity.
And so Goodey finds himself on the outskirts of San Francisco, where an insular cult known as The Institute lives in a giant mansion. Katie fell from the mansion's roof, but no one is talking, and the local police consider the matter a suicide. The case is hardly promising, but the man's money spends - and Goodey needs the work.
And so, even though he's about as welcome as a rat in the punchbowl, Goodey moves into the mansion and begins his investigation.
But some members aren't just merely annoyed by Goodey's prodding questions. And they'll go to extraordinary lengths to stop his investigation - permanently.