Frank Rivers, born Francisco Riojas in Brenham, Texas, is the youngest officer to be promoted to Detective in the History of the Houston Police Department. He is assigned to partner with Douglas 'Skip' Shields, a former U.S.Marine and a veteran at HPD. When a retired college professor is killed in the early days of 1990, by a anti-personal land mine while mowing his lawn in a high level suburb, Frank and Skip catch the case. Motive and perpetrator are elusive. Many top suspects are cleared or found murdered as they struggle to discover the killer. Things begin to make sense to Frank after he survives a car crash on the freeway and is forced to take leave to heal. He continues to investigate the crime and enlists his live-in girlfriend, Paulette Hyer, to help. Paulette owns and manages a woman's, high-fashion, clothing store in the Galleria Shopping Mall. The investigation not only covers the city of Houston, but goes as far afield as Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches , Texas. It all comes down when both Frank and Paulette are ambushed by the villain on a dark night at a construction site in West Houston. Neither Paulette nor Frank will ever be the same again.