Still reeling from an unfathomable tragedy, Boston P.I. John Francis Cuddy agrees to help a former Vietnam-era comrade who is searching for his granddaughter's killer. The thirteen-year-old was found dead in Colonel Nicolas Helides' heavily guarded mansion on the Intracoastal Waterway. Used by her own father to revive his rock band, called Spiral, Veronica Helides had been molded into a sexually provacative rock starlet. By the time someone drowned her, murder was merely the last crime committed against her. Now Cuddy is picking apart a cast of players in the life of Colonel Heilides and the girl everyone called "Very." From Helides' depressive son to former groupies, from a mysterious spiritual adviser to the woman who married the colonel for his money, Cuddy is seeing the worst of human nature at a time when his own heart is broken in two. As if that were not enough, the killing of Veronica Helides may not have been the isolated act it first appeared.