Essentially, this novel is about three generations of police chiefs in Delano, Georgia, who attempt to solve the mystery behind the disappearance of several young men, and capture the elusive serial killer who victimizes them.
However, Edgar Award-winning novelist Stuart Woods has written not only a riveting mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat, compulsively turning pages, he has described the history and culture of a small Georgia town from 1919 through the 1960s, and created such a realistic a populace that, at times, it is difficult to believe this is a work of fiction. Woods' characters are well defined and complex. There are many good moral people who live in Delano, but there are also the corrupt and perverse, those who have many secrets to hide. The story of the town's growth, as well as that of its inhabitants, over the years is absolutely fascinating, as are the details and intrigues of Georgia's state politics. And the history of the tense race relations during the entire period recalls a time of gross injustice that most of us would like to forget.
This is one of the best mysteries I have read in a long, long time, and, to my mind, Stuart Woods' best novel.