When a well-bred client hands Barbara Holloway a large retainer and asks for complete anonymity, the Oregon attorney is both intrigued and suspicious. The woman, a respected music professor and member of a group that sponsors worthy causes involving women, wants Barbara to defend Carol Fredricks, a gifted young pianist who stands accused of murdering the manager of a piano bar. Not long ago Barbara heard Carol play, and that is enough to convince her to take the case. But now the questions are coming faster than the answers. And how can Barbara explain the oddly incomplete picture she gets of the young woman herself? Soon Barbara is convinced that her client is not only innocent but being framed by ruthless foes who will stop at nothing to keep the past buried. However, proving the case and keeping her client safe will require every drop of Barbara's notoriously fierce determination to get at the truth, an unbidden truth that may just damn them both.