At a stop along her campaign trail, Judge Deborah Knott attends a community picnic at the Mr. Olive Church. When the historic building is destroyed by a fire shortly after the outing -- and the charred skeleton of a young man is found among the ashes -- Knott begins her own investigation into the tragedy. Earlier national news reports of a fire at a local African-American church had already gained the attention of Wallace Adderly, a Black Panther from the '70s. Knott and Adderly team up to discover if the blazes are merely coincidence, or the work of a racist arsonist. As the number of suspects rises, Deborah finds herself re-examining her own beliefs and values as she and Adderly race to prevent another devastating loss in the community.