When private detective Dana Cutler is hired to follow college student Charlotte Walsh, she never imagines the trail will lead to the White House. But the morning after Walsh's secret meeting with Christopher Farrington, the president of the United States, the pretty young coed is dead--the latest victim, apparently, of a fiend dubbed "the D.C. Ripper." A junior associate in an Oregon law firm, Brad Miller is stunned by the death row revelations of convicted serial killer Clarence Little. Though Little accepts responsibility for a string of gruesome murders, he swears he was framed for one of them: the death of a teenaged babysitter who worked for then-governor Farrington. Suddenly nowhere in America is safe for a small-time private eye and a fledgling lawyer who possess terrifying evidence that suggests the unthinkable: that someone at the very highest level of government is a cold and brutal killer.