Nerdy high schooler Jerry Mitchell is assigned to write an article for the school paper about the infamous new delinquent transfer student, Buddy Revell. When Jerry accidentally invades Buddy's personal space and touches him, Buddy challenges Jerry to an afterschool fight in the parking lot, which Jerry tries to avoid at all costs.
Terry Noonan returns home to New York's Hells Kitchen after a ten year absence. He soon hooks up with childhood pal Jackie who is involved in the Irish mob run by his brother Frankie. Terry also rekindles an old flame with Jackie's sister Kathleen. Soon, however, Terry is torn between his loyalty to his friends and his loyalties to others.
A hardened New Orleans cop, Dave Robicheaux, finally tosses in the badge and settles into life on the bayou with his wife. But a bizarre plane crash draws him back into the fray when his family is viciously threatened.