For small-town Iowa lawyer Sam McCain the year 1965 is not a sweet one. His father is gravely ill. His elitist boss is just now coming out of rehab. The brilliant lawyer he'd hoped to start a relationship with has gone back to her husband in Chicago. And first young soldier from Black River Falls returns home from a strange place called Viet Nam. In a coffin.
Against this background McCain tries to enjoy himself during the long Labor Day weekend party the town sponsors every year, reuniting with several old friends who appeared throughout the first six novels. Now that they're all in their late twenties some of the old grudges and rivalries seem silly—until two of them are murdered for what seems to be a motive buried in the past.
With the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan irritating those over thirty—and the boys in long hair and girls wearing blouses without bras irritating people even more—Sam McCain is forced to realize that his old world, along with the entire country's, is about to end forever.