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From the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author of Paris Trout comes a story of the exploitative world of newspapers. Ward James is a reclusive, obsessed young reporter, half of a famous investigative team in Miami, the son of a newspaper family. His younger brother, Jack, recently expelled from the University of Florida's swimming team, and then from the university itself, drives a delivery truck for their father's paper in northern Florida. The brothers are brought together when Ward returns home to investigate the case of a man awaiting execution for the revenge killing of the county's legendary sheriff. Ward is accompanied by his opportunistic partner, Yardley Acheman, and Charlotte Bless, an inordinately sexual and determined woman who has fallen in love through the mail with the sheriff's murderer. What is uncovered in the months that follow, in the exploration - and then exploitation - of the murder of Sheriff Thurmond Call, goes beyond the crime itself to the heart of the characters, and to the heart of the business of journalism.