During a terrible heatwave in 1991the worst in a decadetenyear old Anton has been locked in an apartment in the projects alone for seven days without air conditioning or a fan. With no electricity the refrigerator and lights do not work. Hot hungry and desperate Anton shatters a window and climbs out. Cutting his leg on the broken glass he is covered in blood when the police find him. Juanita his mother is discovered in a crack house less than three blocks away nearly unconscious and halfnaked. When she comes to she repeatedly asks for her baby boy. She never meant to leave Antonshe went out for a quick hit and was headed right back until her drug dealer raped her and kept her high. Though the bond between mother and son is extremely strong Anton is placed with child services while Juanita goes to jail.
The Harvardeducated son of a U. S. senator Judge David Coleman is a scion of northeastern white privilege. Desperate to have a child in the house again after the tragic death of his teenage son David uses his power and connections to keep his new foster son Anton with him and his wife Deloresactions that will have devastating consequences in the years to come.
Following in his adopted familys footsteps Anton too rises within the establishment. But when he discovers the truth about his life his birth motherand his adopted parents this man of the law must come to terms with the moral complexities of crimes committed by the people he loves most.