Kylie Preston is out for a night of fun with The Liberated Wives Club, a group of close friends who have not only survived divorce but also thrived in its wake. Kylie encounters a stranger who charms her into going home with him. The next day, Kylie Preston’s body is discovered in a stolen car, dissected, and preserved in ice chests. When Portland Homicide finds themselves at a dead-end, Carl Wheaton, a dear friend and colleague of the deceased implores C. J. Cavanaugh to investigate on behalf of Lunsford Insurance. C. J. cannot say no to his friend. During his investigation of the deranged killer, the press has dubbed The Butcher, more bodies turn up mutilated in precisely the same manner as the deceased Vice-President of Acquisitions for Lunsford Insurance. Each gruesome discovery intensifies the race to capture The Butcher before he strikes again.