One day, at the end of Beaumont and Pickles's shift, a stop at the Doghouse restaurant quickly turns deadly. Not feeling well, Pickles steps out into the parking lot for a breath of fresh air and stumbles into a crime in progress. Suffering from a heart attack, he is found unconscious, with a dead woman on the ground nearby and the murder weapon in his hand.
With Pickles under investigation from Internal Affairs, it's up to the new kid on the block, J. P. Beaumont, and his friends on the force to find out the truth.
Life has shifted for J. P. Beaumont. After a tragic accident that devastated—and ultimately disbanded—his Special Homicide Investigation Team, he accepts that he has left homicide detection behind at this point, but he has a lot of unanticipated free time on his hands. He's keeping busy with renovations on the new house that he and his wife, Mel Soames, the newly appointed chief of police in Bellingham, Washington, have bought. But new fixtures and paint palettes can occupy only so much of Beau's daily life, and Mel is encouraging him to return to where he is needed: investigating crimes.
In the meantime, she is struggling to gain control of her new situation, cast into a department where some are welcoming—and some are not. It's been a few months, and the tension in the police department is rising, but Beau realizes Mel has to tackle things in her own way, so he refrains from advising. But when Beau shows up one afternoon to survey the construction at their new house and finds Mel's car there but no sign of her, his investigative instincts kick in. Suddenly he's back in the game—except this time, his heart is on the line as well as his professional dignity.