It’s one weird winter on Middle Island for young police officer Pete Jakes and his wife, Ali. It’s raining in February, and it hasn’t snowed since Christmas. The woods are swamps, the snowmobiles silent, and bored hunters are shooting up the local mailboxes.
Meanwhile, Police Chief Halstead and his deputies are busy carrying out the Provincial Emergency Preparedness Plan for the Island. Never mind that the local version of a chemical spill would be the overturning of Black’s septic removal truck.
Too bad there’s no preparedness for murder. When a woman gets killed by a stray shot, the police find too many suspects and far too many rifles. Is it a shot gone wrong by reckless hunters? Or maybe the woman’s estranged husband, a good old Island boy who lives with his dog in the swamp? A killer is on the loose and rifles are turning up all over.
Ali Jakes has her own preoccupation; she’s seven months pregnant, suffering toxemia, and her doctor and husband have put her under strict house arrest till the baby comes. Bored with jigsaws and women’s afternoon television, she discovers her own terrifying connection to the Island crime wave.