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One of the founders of a university research project in community living is found fatally stabbed. Police Detective Ray Koepp, a former priest, takes the leading role in an intensely human drama of his own making as his growing obsession with Karen, a suspect, endangers his ability to solve the case. C.J. Koehler provides a roller coaster ride of twists and turns as Koepp and Loftus investigate suspect after suspect, whose self-serving interactions poison the idyllic cohousing community. Friars' Close was conceived as a refuge from urban violence, but as Detective Loftus observes, "From the look of the dead guy, you haven't worked out the bugs yet." Koepp puts his own life in danger and his professional reputation at risk when he follows Karen to the north woods island where another killing occurs. In a community that seems to thrive on playing mind games, Koepp begins to play some of his own.