Harry Dresden is summoned to the jury at the process of Hamilton Luther, who is accused of the murder of Curtis Black a year earlier. Counselor Tremont builds a good case, until, under cross-examination by Luther, Officer Dwayne's testimony is found with a number of important inconsistencies in it; most importantly, without mention of the presence of a little girl on the crime scene. With the help of William Borden, Dresden starts investigating, and realizes that the girl is still around and is being abducted on his watch.
Following the girl and the abducting party, Dresden discovers that a young White Court vampire, Tania Raith has organized the kidnapping to prevent the girl, named Maria, to give testimony at the trial. He exposes Tania's inexperience and plays on Riley's role as the vampire's babysitter to allow him, Billy and Maria to leave unharmed and unfollowed.
Back in the courtroom, the jury is unable to reach a verdict on Luther's case and Judge Jefferson rules it a mistrial, adjourning the session and setting Luther free. Aware of the city's magic side, and tying up the loose ends of the case, she realizes that Dresden had found the missing girl, and that he'll never be cut to deal with the nuances of the law.