Judge Oliver Garland has just died in suspicious circumstances. Conservative and controversial, Garland had many enemies. Many years ago, he'd earned a judge's highest prize: a Supreme Court nomination. But in a scene of bitter humiliation in front of a televised audience and before the eyes of his family, he had to withdraw his nomination. It was a national scandal, and a private agony, one from which he never recovered. Now, year's later, The judge's death raises even more questions than his life did and seems to be leading to a second terrible scandal. Could he have been murdered? He has left a strange message for his son Talcott, a professor at an elite Ivy League law school, entrusting him with 'the arrangements' - a mysterious puzzle that only Tal can unlock, and only by unearthing the ambiguities of his father's turbulent past. When another man is found dead, and then another, Talcott must risk life, marriage and reputation, following the clues his father left him.