Mike Delo, a former military investigator, then, an unorthodox homicide detective with the Omaha Police Department, until he is forced to resign and go private, Delo struggles with alcohol abuse and criticism about his relationship with his family, as he attempts to solve a string of brutal murders. During the investigation, he becomes embroiled in covert FBI operations and conflict between competing crime organizations. He moves quickly and adroitly, and finds clues overlooked by police.
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An elderly swamp rocker from the 1950s, Ricky Carl engages Mike to find an extortionist who is offering information as to who murdered Carl's daughter, for $150,000. Mike accepts the gig, but becomes caught in a conflict with Carl's granddaughter, June, whose blocked memory of her mother's 20-year-old unsolved murder, has left her mentally challenged. This creates complications in Mike's hunt for the writer of the extortion note.