Late one morning in 1995 Thomas Webster, a semi-retired journalist, received an unexpected visitor.
Sixteen years earlier, Frank Montini, an American university professor of history, had been accused of murdering another professor at a university in Montreal. The charges were inexplicably dropped, but belief in his guilt lingered and ruined his life and that of his family. Assumptions about his guilt followed him when his family returned to the United States.
After he died, his daughter, Gina, convinced he was innocent, wants his reputation restored. She returns to Montreal and arrives at Webster's door. She reminds him that even after the charges were dropped, he had written that the police still believed in his guilt. She wants his help: asking him to redeem what he had written which caused her family so much misery. Later that day he agrees to help even though he knows the task is probably beyond his ability and experience. But how often does one get a chance to redeem a damaging mistake made when one was much younger?
Early on they discover that the charges against Frank Montini were dropped because of pressure from both the American and Canadian Secret Services. As the lies and deceptions begin to be exposed, more deaths occur before the real murderer is identified.
But as the truth emerges from the shadows, Webster discovers that attempting to redeem one's past has a price, and he will never be able to return to the kind of life he had before Gina rang his doorbell.