Ray Kilbride's father has died. He returns home to tie up loose ends and decide what to do with his autistic brother, Thomas. Although Thomas is an adult, he has lived with his father all his life. It is time for Ray to learn who his brother is and how to take care of him.
Thomas has a fixation with "Whirl360," a program like Google maps, in which you can see real pictures of homes and streets. He has been memorizing the layouts of many big cities around the world. He travels street by street on his computer and gets a good look at everything. He thinks that the CIA and former president Bill Clinton need him in case the power goes out and digital geographic aids no longer work.
Morris Sawchuck is running for governor. His wife, Bridget, is a wild card. She has been having an affair with Allison Fitch, a young woman who indeed stoops to blackmail. Howard Talliman, Sawchuck's closest advisor, has decided to take matters into his own hands.
As a result, one night Thomas sees a picture on Whirl360 that looks like a young woman being strangled in the window of an apartment in New York City. It is Allison Fitch's apartment. To humor Thomas, Ray goes to that apartment to half-heartedly investigate, and suddenly he and Thomas are on the radar of bad, bad people.
Add to the mix queries about what really happened to Ray and Thomas' father and why Ray has an aversion to leaving his house, and you have a pretty good mystery. Julie McGill is a local reporter and Ray's high school classmate. She provides the romantic interest for Ray and a sympathetic presence for Thomas.
Thomas Kilbride is the most fascinating character in the book. His disorder, the byplay with his brother, his obsession, and his realness move the book onto a different level. Overall, there are many different mysteries, all of them intriguing.