William Miller, assistant building director, drowns in Lake Coeur d’Alene, and his wife, Stephanie, receives $2 million on his life insurance policy. But she knows her husband feared water and would never go near it. Stephanie tries to hire a private detective to investigate, but none within a hundred miles will take the case.
James Wallace, recent college graduate and new building department inspector, is Tasered. When he regains his senses, he finds himself naked and taped to a chair. A claw hammer rests on his genitals, and a disguised voice tells him he will ignore deficiencies on the Ramsey Road project.
The man who sent her the life insurance check, Ed Logan, tells Stephanie’s attorney, Bob Currey, his claims specialist might look into Miller’s death. Currey’s $2000 check pays for Dan Ballantine’s travel expenses to Idaho and one hour of his time.
Dan declines the job, but when he is followed from the attorney’s office, he changes his mind and offers to work for the outrageous price of $2500 per day against $250,000 if he solves the case.
Bob’s brother, Tom, also an attorney and a former police officer, provides Dan with valuable information. Dan develops a suspect, but the evidence is too thin to report. Dan taunts the suspect and soon finds himself face down on a dirt road with Taser darts in his chest and a six foot eight man about to beat him to death.