Ossning, a little town on the Borchard River in the upper half of Michigan's lower peninsula, is a quiet enough place except for the usual petty irregularities among neighbors: the rivalry between Link Pickett's canoe livery and Verlyn Kelso's Kabin Kamp; the sharp-eyed regard Verlyn's ex-wife Mercy Virdon, of the Department of Natural Resources, pays to Verlyn's wife Jan; the natural anxiety of Link's wife Laurel and her lover, Calvin McCann; the constant complaints of local residents about the way Link inundates the Borchard with rented canoes and clears the way for them by cutting whatever wood he finds floating in the river. Then Link himself gets cut, by a well-placed wire that nearly takes his head off as Mercy and her boss are lying in wait for him to come canoeing past them on a chargeably naughty errand--and suddenly all those little irregularities start to look a lot less petty. When Verlyn and Mercy's son Kit announces that he saw somebody carrying something along the bank just before Link's last ride, Mercy's live-in, ex-Detroit Free Press reporter Donal Fitzgerald, hustles him out of town to the safety of the big city. But Kit, bored and restless in Detroit, hitchhikes back to Ossning just in time to walk into trouble. The offbeat scenery is the star in this otherwise modest whodunit by Weber (Troubleshooter, 1988, etc.).