The city's embattled, ambitious D.A. Sharron Pratt sees an opportunity to revive her troubled administration by publicly declaring war on the killer and vowing to deliver a death penalty, putting the case on the fast track to certain conviction. Unable to watch a man die for Pratt's political gain, Dismas Hardy warily takes on the defense. But as Hardy's crusade to secure his client a fair hearing ensues, a lethal web of political corruption, legal conspiracy, and cold-blooded murder begins to unravel. In a case that will send shock waves through San Francisco and echo in the private lives of its most prominent citizens, the hearing is just the beginning.