When Deborah Knott becomes Colleton County's newest district judge, she immediately begins to regret her extravagant election promises. For, before she can say 'If elected...` Lu Bingham, the driving force behind WomanAid, has come to collect her dues. And now Deborah must put her muscle where her mouth was, spending weekends with an all-women crew committed to building its first home for a needy single mum. Chaos erupts before the house is even half finished when Annie Sue, one of Deborah's nieces, is found battered and half naked in the deserted structure. Has she been raped? Who was it who left her there? And whose blood will they identify on Deborah's own hammer? As she begins to investigate the mystery of that rainy summer night, Deborah must judge whether some sinister secret in her own family has led to murder. And, if so, it's now up to her to uncover the darker, more troubling, reasons why.