The time is late October 1948. A presidential election supposed to put an end to the Democrats' 16-year-grip on the White House (that's what the polls say) lies just ahead. World War II is over, though not entirely forgotten. A few familiar faces are missing. One of them is P47 fighter Chesty Bennett's, but Chesty's remains, exhumed in Germany, are being returned, are returned, to Winatchee Falls for burial. Which triggers another tragedy. The Winatchee Falls City Council, meanwhile, is up to its usual shenanigans, playing fast and loose with zoning changes despite opposition voiced, stridently, by its lone female member, Victoria (Vickie) Stanns, a just-about-divorced Realtor who enlists the support of another member, Nickolai (Nick) Shepka, an immigrant in the liquor business who pursued and caught The American Dream. Which, along with a city Health Department sanitation inspector, proves a harsh lesson in democracy for Nick. And Edward T. (Eddie Devlin, a beginning reporter now at the Bugle Call, Winatchee Falls' daily-except-Sunday newspaper, is in the middle of all this.
T.R. St. George spent 39 months in the Southwest Pacific in World War II, by turn a private and private first class in an Infantry reconnaissance platoon, a corporal and half the staff of a division newspaper and, eventually a sergeant, a reporter for YANK, the weekly Army magazine published around the world.