Denver oilman Phillip Townsend is alone in his Jaguar when he drives off the cliff. The police call it an accident, but his widow, half mad with grief, insists it was murder. Her husband was quiet, cautious, boring - so what was he doing on the outskirts of Denver, driving drunk down a lonely mountain road?
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Four gunmen storm a jewelry store in downtown Denver, wounding a guard and killing a child. They leave with $2.1 million in gems and one hostage: the store manager, who turns out to be in on the job. Most of the gang winds up dead, but the manager lands in jail. Two decades later, he’s up for release, the gems are still missing, and a whole lot of dangerous men will be watching to see if he knows where they’re hidden. Private investigator Jacob Lomax is one of them.
In frigid Denver, Lomax braves the mob to find a bookie’s missing daughterJoe Bellano never hurt nobody. A gentle barber who takes bets on the side, he’s muddling through life when his world comes crashing down around him. First he’s arrested by an overzealous police force hoping for dirt on the local mob. Released after convincing the police that he’s strictly small time, Bellano is trying to get back to normal when his teenage daughter vanishes.
When Samuel Butler, a cruelly arrogant titan of industry, learns his wife is cheating again, he expresses his feelings with a punch to her face. She is bruised when he leaves the house, but still alive. After a few hours’ drinking, he comes home to apologize, flowers in hand, and finds his wife bludgeoned to death on the floor. Or at least that’s what he tells the police. In desperation, Butler’s lawyer hires private detective Jacob Lomax to prove his client’s alibi.
The plane went down outside Tucson, and all aboard were burned beyond recognition. The sole passenger was Martin Blyleven, an accountant employed by a Colorado televangelist with shady business partners, but the death was ruled an accident, and $400,000 in insurance money went to the widow. Four years later, she begins getting phone calls from a man claiming to be Martin. He has risen from the dead, but unlike the saints in his old boss’s sermons, he has come back demanding cash.