The novice investigating magistrate Bernard Martin has only two weeks to prove that her murderer is either the artist, who is obsessively in love with Vernet, or her long-time paramour, Charles Westerbury, an English geologist with a shady past. To make the case against Cézanne or the Darwinian scientist, Martin must confront the ghosts of his own past as he struggles to understand the motives that led to Solange Vernet's violent end.
Was her fatal strangulation merely a crime of passion? Or did she die because she dared to step outside the traditional bounds of womanhood?
The early paintings of Paul Cezanne offer crucial clues to solving the crime.