Paul Munk is a socially conscious idealist, leaning left in his political convictions. In Crown Shyness, his skills as a writer for a current affairs magazine have garnered him an assignment that will challenge his relationships, present and future: to follow and profile Daniel Code, a member of the religious right who believes he has been called upon by God to lead his political party to national power. A growing attraction to Code's daughter—and media handler—Rachel, complicates Paul's intent to broil the candidate publicly. Meanwhile, Paul's family is disconnected by the same issues of faith and politics and is forced to adjust to one son's release from prison. Richard Munk, Paul's older brother, has served his time behind bars and is now intent on rebuilding his life with an American woman with whom he has corresponded. When Richard crosses the US border and loses contact with his family, Paul follows his trail, hoping to find his brother, and pursue a relationship that can sustain their differences.