Private Investigator Dan Ballantine, driving in the California desert before dawn, spots a body draped over the roadside berm. He finds a naked, badly beaten young woman bound at ankles and wrists. Mindy Weller begs him to hide her.
Dan pulls his travel trailer into the desert where he cares for the young woman and listens to her story of stolen stamps and angry Russians who kidnapped her and boyfriend, Gene. They murdered Gene and left Mindy for dead, but she crawled to the highway.
Viktor Vladimirov, a major player in the Russian Mafia, sends three “soldiers” after Mindy. Dan kills two of them and sends the third back to Vladimirov with the corpses.
As retaliation, Vladimirov orders his men to kidnap Dan’s eight-year-old autistic son and demand a ransom.
Dan pays the ransom then stalks the Russian with intent to snipe him. When he has the man in his telescopic sights, he finds he cannot pull the trigger. Instead, he kidnaps a Russian soldier, and convinces him to turn on his boss. When he learns of an upcoming drug deal, Dan calls the FBI, and agents arrest Vladimirov who is charged with Gene’s and Mindy’s murders.
His conviction requires Dan’s testimony, and Vladimirov hires Mako Fazan murder Dan.
Fazan pursues Dan to Texas where he searches for a missing rancher. As Dan closes on his quarry, Fazan closes on him.