Clara Rinker is a southerner, trim, pleasant, attractive--and the best hit woman in the business. She isn't showy; she just goes quietly about her business, collects her money, and goes home. When she's hired for a job in Minnesota, things become complicated for her. A defense attorney wants a rival eliminated, and that's fine. But then a witness survives, the attorney starts acting weird, this big cop Davenport gets on her case, and loose ends begin popping up faster than a sweater unraveling. Clara hates loose ends, and knows of only one way to deal with them: you start cutting them off, one after another, until they're all gone. Lucas Davenport thinks the case is worrisome enough; he has no idea of the toll it is about to take on him.