Jack Reacher gets off a Greyhound bus in the fictional town of Margrave, Georgia, because he remembers his brother mentioning that a musician named "Blind Blake" died there. Much to his surprise, he's arrested in a local diner for murder. He meets a detective called Finlay, and tries to prove he was not there when the murder happened. After finding what seems to be a phone number in the dead man's shoe, Finlay rings and tricks a man into telling him his name, Mr. Hubble. They bring Hubble (as he likes to be called) into the police station for questioning and he soon cracks and confesses to the murder, but Reacher doesn't buy it. Both Reacher and Hubble are sent to the state prison and run into more than a little trouble. After a hellraising two days in jail, Roscoe (a female police officer for whom Reacher has begun to have feelings) proves he is innocent and that his claim to have been nowhere near the scene of the murder is true. Roscoe collects Reacher and they return to Margrave to find that all hell has broken loose. Reacher discovers the murder victim's identity and realises that he indeed knows him, as he has all his life. Hubble has disappeared and his wife is in hysterics wanting Reacher to find him. It then transpires that Chief Morrison and his wife have been found horribly murdered in their own home. It is revealed later in the story that Margrave is home to a multi-billion dollar counterfeiting operation, which Reacher and his newly formed acquaintances try to destroy.