Mark Darrow grew up in a small Ohio town with no advantages beyond his intelligence and athletic ability. Thanks to the intervention of Lionel Farr, a professor at Caldwell College, Darrow became a great trial lawyer. Now Farr asks his protg for a life-altering favor -- a scandal has threatened Caldwell, and he wants Darrow to consider becoming its new president. Darrow accepts, but returning to his alma mater opens up old wounds. It's been sixteen years since he discovered the body of Angela Hall at the base of the bell tower known as The Spire. His best friend, Steve Tillman, was convicted of the crime. Back at Caldwell, Darrow suspects that the case against Steve left crucial unanswered questions. Darrow starts investigating, and is now certain that the real murderer is still at large. And when another mysterious death occurs, Darrow realizes that his own life is at risk.