Cal Claxton is determined to reinvent himself as a small town lawyer in the aftermath of his wife's suicide. Once a hard-charging L.A. prosecutor, he now lives in his "Aerie"—an old farmhouse overlooking the Oregon wine country. When a scruffy, tattooed kid shows up asking for help in solving his mother's cold case murder, Cal wants to say no. But the kid, who calls himself Picasso, has ridden a bike from Portland, and something about his determination touches Cal.
It turns out that Picasso is a gifted artist and one of the legion of street kids who are drawn to Portland's Old Town. Cal accepts Picasso as a client, but things quickly turn ugly when Picasso is charged with the murder of his mother's former boyfriend, a major business figure. Suddenly Cal finds himself back in the game, pitted against the police, the media, a right-wing shock jock, a Russian cage fighter, and some of Portland's most powerful citizens—upstanding and lowdown.