Earl Swagger is killed in a shoot-out near Blue Eye, Arkansas by two petty criminals. A World War II hero and dedicated state trooper, Earl leaves behind a nine-year-old son named Bob Lee Swagger. Bob grows up to become a famous marine sniper in Vietnam and is now trying to live a quiet life with his new wife and child in the Arizona desert. Bob is approached by Russ Pewtie, a young writer who is attempting to complete a book on Earl's death. Bob reluctantly agrees to help Russ do research on his project. When Earl's body is exhumed, Bob realizes that he was probably killed by a sniper's bullet and not in the gunfight with the young hoods as officially reported.
At the time of his death Earl was investigating the brutal rape and murder of a fifteen-year-old black girl named Shirelle Parker. Two years later, a young black man was executed for the crime after his monogrammed shirt pocket was found in the dead girl's hand.
As Russ and Bob continue their investigation in Arkansas, they become convinced that there must be a connection between Earl's death and the murder of Shirelle. They know that they are getting close to the truth when they are attacked by a group of hit men hired by Red Bama, the local crime boss. Later, they are pursued by General Jack Preece, a former army sniper who is using state-of-the-art equipment including the infrared light that exposes a target in the dead of night.
This report prepared by Peter Kenney