In southeast Minnesota, down on the Mississippi, a school board meeting is coming to a close. The board chairman announces that the rest of the meeting will be closed, due to personnel issues. "Issues" is correct. The proposal up for a vote before them is whether a local reporter should die. And the vote is four to one in favor. Meanwhile, not far away, Virgil Flowers is doing a favor for a friend by looking into a dognapping, which seems to be turning into something much bigger and uglier -- a team of dognappers supplying medical labs -- when he gets a call from Lucas Davenport. A murdered body has been found -- and the victim is a local reporter
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