The book contains two parallel and sometimes overlapping stories. The central story is that of a failed University of Washington English professor, Tom, who does a regular program on National Public Radio and appears jaded and cynical about his life and his career. He is in a loveless marriage to a rather assertive businesswoman, Beth, who eventually leaves him and moves into an inner-city condominium. They have a rather precocious son, Finn, who goes to a child psychiatrist for psychotherapy to deal with his attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Finn's language and demeanor are more suggestive of Asperger syndrome, but this possibility is never explored. The denouement of the primary story revolves around the rapid ostracization that Tom experiences when suspected of child assault and murder. I will not reveal the outcome of this investigation, so as not to spoil the story.