Las Vegas, 1986. A young college graduate is murdered when he is unable to pay back a loan funded by notorious criminal Lorenzo Dante. Two years later private investigator Kinsey Millhone finds herself assisting to apprehend a shoplifter - Audrey Vance - in a shopping centre. Events take a much darker turn when Audrey's body is discovered beneath the Cold Spring Bridge, a local suicide spot. Unable to believe she took her own life, Audrey's fiance Marvin Striker hires Kinsey to investigate. It soon emerges that the shoplifter had become caught up in a much larger operation. Meanwhile Lorenzo Dante has begun to grow weary of his life in organised crime and frustrated with his violent and impulsive younger brother Cappi. While the police net begins to close in on him, Dante meets the beautiful Nora, who exerts a powerful pull over the gangster.