Louisiana criminal attorney Lawson Russell sudden grows a 'conscience' and turns against his umpteenth rich, guilty client, Thurman Parks III. the result is judge judge Wiley Banning declares a mistrial and naive Russel is disbarred far life. After years of menial work on a fishing boat, an old man shows him a brilliant manuscript about the perfect murder on five lawyers and dies from a heart-attack. Russel burns the original and gets rich by publishing the instant-bestseller as his own. But someone sent a copy to New Orleans detective Clifford Dubose, who realizes all five murders are real, and only the killer knew all the details.