The morning after Jonathan Parrish’s fortieth birthday party, the guest of honor is found lying dead in a pool of his own blood. Police arrive at the scene to find his older brother, Ralph, covered in red and clutching the murder weapon.
From behind bars, Ralph insists he didn’t do it. He claims he heard a scream from the other room, saw a man dressed in black running away, and rushed to pull the fatal blade from Jonathan’s chest. But his explanations don’t sway the Florida police, especially when several witnesses saw the brothers arguing about Jonathan’s homosexual lifestyle the night before.
But attorney Matthew Hope believes Ralph—call it instinct, call it a hunch, Matt’s law partner, Frank Summerville, calls it Matt’s “code.” But with Frank too distraught over his crumbling marriage to pitch in this time, Matthew enlists private eye Warren Chambers to help prove Ralph’s innocence. And with few clues to go by, the duo will have to dig through a world of closet cases, secret trysts, and a community on edge to capture the real killer.