The Sheriff rules Elveron with a steady, evil hand. His power has been achieved through standard political machinery reinforced at every vulnerable point by personal blackmail. He really believes that no one cares enough to stop him and he is almost right. Skillfully interlocking flashbacks reveal how he got this way and how he got the town -- perfectly, chillingly possible. His pinnacle crime is incest and it sets off a series of events that arouse one man to act and who must act entirely alone. A new author uses an old form to create a novel that rises well above the label of ""mystery and suspense"".