New York City. Professional cellist Matt Shapiro is the only son of Lila Shapiro, brother to Gaby Shapiro-Schnell and Dana Shapiro, and uncle to Gaby's two young daughters, Amelia and Lilian Schnell. A gay man with full blown AIDS, Matt has just passed away, his entire estate deeded to his two nieces. Matt is surrounded by many of his closest friends when his body is picked up, including Brian Knight, the head of the New York AIDS Treatment Program, where Matt had been a client for six years. Matt's case is placed on the desk of Nick Devivo of the district attorney's office, they who suspect that Matt's death may be only the latest suspected assisted suicide among Brian's clients. Although specifics of Matt's situation raise many of the same red flags as other suspected recent AIDS related deaths, another red flag is that an aborted 911 call was made from where Matt was found dead the day before his death was reported. As Nick begins to question those at the scene and Matt's family, she realizes that she may have to go to more "off the record" means to obtain information as she suspects those questioned may not be telling the whole truth. Using those off the record means, Nick discovers that "an event" was held prior to Matt's death, that event a party for Matt to say goodbye before his suicide. Nick will still have to sift through the evidence to glean who if anyone did actually know that Matt wanted to kill himself, willingly assisted Matt in his mission, let alone if he did actually die by suicide or if the brain tumors the result of the AIDS, the official cause of death, were what really did end his life. What Nick ends up doing is partly based on her own family history, where her father, a police officer, recently died ultimately of an on the job incident.