When Armand Gamache receives a letter inviting him to an abandoned farmhouse outside of Three Pines, the former head of the Sûreté du Québec discovers that a complete stranger has named him as executor of her will. Armand never knew the elderly woman, and the bequests are so wildly unlikely that he suspects she must have been delusional - until a body is found, and the terms of the bizarre document suddenly seem far more menacing.
Armand sets about investigating, but meanwhile he is taking increasingly desperate measures to rectify the recent events that led to his suspension. As he does, he begins to see his own blind spots - and the terrible things hiding there . . .