If your best friend’s deepest secret was a deep, internal struggle between good and evil, could you keep that secret from everyone for decades? Elizabeth has done just that for her friend Woody. She knows of his past—about his drunk and abusive mother. She knows Woody was raised to subdue all emotion into numbness. He wants to be normal, but he fears he may become a serial killer—or that someone else will discover his secret.
Woody finds a place to express his bloodlust in the US Navy, during the early years of the Vietnam conflict. Once back to civilian life, though, he has trouble adjusting to the idea that murder is no longer his duty; outside the military, murder is a crime. He still longs for revenge on his childhood torturers, but he knows that by hunting them, by killing them, he will be just like them.
Through these internal battles, Elizabeth is always there, keeping the truth of Woody’s past and present fantasies a secret. Together, they share details of their own personal defects and romantic relationships. Their friendship keeps Woody from becoming a monster, but how long will Elizabeth be able to calm Woody’s demons without awakening some of her own?