New Lexington, Texas, is a great place to work and raise a family in the 1950s. Friends and neighbors get together to barbecue or play canasta; kids play outdoors with no fear; the churches are filled on Sundays. In this serene world, however, an incident occurs so horrible in its scope, so devastating in its consequences, that it shakes the community to its very foundations. A child is murdered, in fact, the only child of the local police chief. After the reality of the heinous act sinks in, the locals want answers, especially the parents of the murdered child. Suspicions arise concerning a member of the black community in the town, thus causing tensions to rise between the races, tensions that were always present, just below the surface. As the story unfolds, old friends become estranged, gossip and conjecture prevail, and racism is exposed in all its ugliness.