"She caught a glimpse of him from her dormitory window, a thin, dark figure slipping between the bushes along the building's foundation walls before vanishing from sight ... And then she heard the sirens."
The week of the Peningtonn Place fire begins innocuously enough on a bright October morning in Oaks Quarry, Ohio. But the smoke-filled basement harbors a secret.
By the time the clean-up crew discovers a flip-flop in the back corner of the coal bin, Ruthalice Michels, campus minister at a small Quaker college in the American Midwest, is busy dispensing daily doses of pastoral care to the residents of Emerick College while pursuing her own suspicions about the fire. Ruthalice uncovers a tangled web of secrets, illegal activities, accidents, and a moral dilemma. Can her usual blend of Spirit-led insights and common sense guide her to do what is right and expose wrong?