Jack St Bride entered a plea of guilty to sexual assault when he was arrested for having sex with a minor. It never happened, but his lawyer recommended this as the best course of action. So, after eight months in jail for a crime he did not commit and a life in ruins, Jack finds the small country town of Salem Falls and decides to start again as a dishwasher.
There, Jack meets Addy, a woman whose life has also been turned upside down by rape.
Unfortunately for Jack, he also comes across a group of teenagers dabbling in witchcraft. After a Beltaine celebration, Jack is once again accused of rape – aggravated assault this time rather than just statutory. How can Jack have a fair trial if he has already been convicted of the crime before?
Picoult again delivers an easy-to-read and moderately entertaining novel, that delves further into the characters lives than expected.