Abby needs a change of scenery. At least that’s what her therapist suggests.
She’s just completed her doctorate in mathematics and broken up with her unstable boyfriend, Evan. Evan hasn’t taken it so well. After a late night run in Central Park, Abby returns to her Manhattan apartment to find Evan has taken his own life.
In attempt to escape from the guilt and trauma, Abby takes her therapist’s advice to leave the big city. She accepts a job teaching at “The Hoosier Harvard,” Tippecanoe College in Lewisburg, Indiana, home to a bunch of erudite professors, self-entitled students, biker gang townies, immigrant workers, and shady small-town property developers.
It’s a big change for a native New Yorker but maybe that’s just what Abby needs.
While out for a run in the early hours, just outside of town, where she expects to be totally alone, a car speeds past her. A few minutes later, she catches up to the car, stopped in the road and engulfed in flames. With the driver still inside. Even worse than the sight of a man burning to death is a second man, standing at the edge of the road with no shirt on, smiling at her.
The only witness to a brutal murder, Abby learns all about small town life: self-important, journalists, real estate cheats, crooked lawyers, the Mexican drug cartel, and morally questionable teachers. Everyone has secrets and no one wants Abby too close to the truth.
Then there’s a second murder and Abby thinks the smiling man might be coming for her next.