Sarah, a student at Northwestern University Law School, returns to her apartment to find two telephone messages. The first is that she has not been selected for a coveted internship for which her father had arranged an interview; the second that her best friend in high school, JoBeth Ruland, has murdered her own two children. To mislead her father, Sarah decides to secure a position on JoBeth's defense team and sets out to regain her father's favor. Her efforts are met with the benevolent amusement of the senior law partner, the resentment of the expert defense attorney, the rush to judgement by the folks of Eight Mile Junction, and the discovery of the role of several individuals in the degradation of JoBeth. The discovery of the underlying issues that percipitated her friend's murderous act initiates a major change in Sarah's life.