Shattered by grief and dreaming of vengeance, Penn Cage sees his family and his world collapsing around him. The woman he loves is gone, his principles have been irrevocably compromised, and his father, Dr. Tom Cage, once a paragon of the community that Penn leads as mayor, is about to be tried for murder. Most terrifying of all, Dr. Cage seems bent on self-destruction. Despite Penn’s experience as a prosecutor in major murder trials, his father has frozen him out of the trial preparations—preferring to risk dying in prison to revealing the truth of the crime to his son.
During forty years practicing medicine, Tom Cage made himself the most respected and beloved physician in Natchez, Mississippi. But this revered Southern figure may never have been as virtuous as he seemed. Could Penn have a half-brother, the product of an 1960s affair between Tom and his devoted African American nurse, Viola Turner? This furious man has driven the murder prosecution of Dr. Cage, which has exhumed dangerous ghosts from Mississippi’s violent past. The surviving members of the Double Eagles, a savage splinter cell of the KKK, are on the loose again—and with the help of some of the most influential men in the state, have become more dangerous than ever.
In some way that Penn cannot fathom, Viola Turner was a nexus point between his father and the vicious Double Eagles. More troubling still, the long-buried secrets shared by his father and the former Klansmen may hold the key to the most devastating assassinations of the 1960s. Dr. Cage’s trial sets a terrible clock in motion, and unless Penn can pierce the veil of the past and exonerate his father, his family will be destroyed. Unable to trust anyone around him to tell the truth--not even his own mother--Penn joins forces with Serenity Butler, a famous young black woman who has come to Natchez to write a book about his father’s case. Together, Penn and Serenity—a former soldier—begin a battle to crack the Double Eagles and discover the secret history of the Cage family and the South itself, a desperate move that risks the only thing they have left to gamble: their lives.