A murderer stalks the orange groves of 1923 Southern California. Detective Sidney Snipes is called to the Harrington Manor when retired Colonel Peter Wescott Harrington is found slumped over his desk by his family. Snipes entrusts the sensational new crime fighting technology–Fingerprint Analysis to find a fierce fiend.
Just when he though he had the murderer cornered, a neighbor discovers a shallow grave in the orange groves; an unsolved missing person’s cold case files. A case that has haunted the Orange County Sheriff’s Department for three years. The evidence in the missing person’s case rumples Snipes proficient sleuthing skills as the leads take him in circles. Then to add to the muddying discord, another Harrington turns up dead, apparently murdered in his sleep.
But when a sinister child’s Jack-in-the-box, seemingly from the grim reaper himself, materializes on the Colonel’s desk, the detective is bedeviled more than he cares to admit. Nevertheless, Snipes had enough moxie to send fingerprints to every city where his suspects had ever lived. The leads take Snipes in a direction he never saw coming. Within days, he’s shocked to his eyebrows by the results; the identity of the murderer befuddles his mind. Alas, the oldest Harrington son, Shep, supposed wife, had a mock wedding to him in Manhattan, New York, and their plan was to kill the whole Harrington clan for their wealth.