Rep Pennyworth, a trademark and copyright lawyer, has loyally followed his wife Melissa to Milwaukee in her quest for an assistant professorship in English Literature at UWM.On the night before the 2008 Army-Navy Game, a midshipman is found stark naked and barely alive in the lobby of a cheap motel near the Naval Academy in Annapolis
The plebe’s closest relatives are Ole and Lena Lindstrom, a pair of aging but still scrappy Wisconsin political activists. They want Rep to help them get copyright protection for an audacious package of campaign ideas that put rich and ruthless gambling interests in the crosshairs. The candidate they have in mind heads a think tank at UWM, where she is exploiting the sensitive issue of domestic violence for her own political purposes. Speaking of domestic violence, Ole and Lena have a well-earned reputation for trading punches with each other. When Ole is murdered, Lena becomes an instant suspect. Rep and Melissa are sure that more than coincidence ties the midship-man’s mugging to Ole Lind-strom’s murder in Milwaukee.