This is one of Muller's few non-Sharon McCone mysteries, & it's very different from that series. While told chronologically, within each day are sub-chapters focusing on individual characters. Each time that character is revisited, the reader learns more about that character & others as well. There are several mysteries woven into the plot but the two main ones are the external--fight between local & NY "environmentalists" & a corporation wishing to export Perdido River water to LA--and internal--an unsolved old murder involving many of the main characters. Avoiding the pitfalls of a binary or black & white mentality, Muller skillfully rounds virtually all of her characters by revealing their shadow sides. Thus, this novel is more appealing to a mature reader especially one interested in reality & human psychology. Still, there is considerable action in it & the mystery (though difficult to unravel) is fairly presented. The environmental story shows the dark side of so-called environmentalists who would stop at almost nothing to win (both locals & New Yorkers) with the less-that-perfect heroine still a foil to them. There's a lot of role reversal too--some white hats turn dark while some black hats get lighter. The corporate coalition (including the man providing the right-of-way fares the same. Assumptions are, after all, the stock-in-trade of the mystery writer. True, the story starts out slowly, but it builds up speed--I couldn't put it down at the end. The denoument was a bit disappointing--even though I did (finally) figure out who the killer must be, but overall the book was an innovative, even remarkable achievement. If you are looking for a standard mystery, this may not be the book for you. But, if you are into characterizations, realistic depictions of people (vs. stereotypes), this book may very well speak to you. If you have any secrets, this tale of a skeleton closet may strike a chord. It also has a message: keeping secrets may seem okay on the surface, but it's a loser in the long-term. The Truth can set you free.