A former Boston police officer, Spenser is released from prison after serving a five-year sentence for assaulting his supervisor, Captain John Boylan. Spenser moved to live with his old friend and mentor Henry Cimoli in South Boston. The same evening, John Boylan is assassinated. Spenser is suspected, until the body of Lieutenant Terrence Graham is found in his car, which was used to smash Boylan's. Graham is then introduced as the number one suspect, especially since drugs were found at his home. Spenser is touched by this story and by the grief of Graham's wife. This proclaims the innocence of her husband. Spenser decides to investigate, when many want revenge on him in Boston. However, he can count on the help of Henry and Hawk, his roommate at Henry's and also a former inmate. Spenser also has to deal with his intrusive ex-girlfriend, Cissy. This investigation will uncover extensive corruption within the Boston police.