Reporter Eddie Bourque chases stories for the Lowell Empire, a second-class rag in a Massachusetts city of first-generation immigrants and bare-knuckled politicians. The talented and ambitious Eddie has one eye on finding a better job. However, when the dead junkie found floating in a mill canal is identified as his beat partner, he gives the story his full attention. That is, until he finds himself stonewalled by powerbrokers in Lowell law enforcement—and at his own newspaper.
Bent on finding his partner’s killer, Eddie disobeys orders and follows a mysterious Cambodian woman into the city’s poorest neighborhood—with violent results. Battered, dumped in a canal and left for dead, Eddie survives an encounter with an invisible underworld, only to find himself entangled in an international plot of murder and revenge. It’s do or die for Eddie as he struggles to stay one step ahead of ruthless hitmen, the city’s self-serving power elite, and the curious police detective who always shows up when Eddie wishes she wouldn’t. The story of a lifetime beckons, but the closer he comes to the truth, the greater the chance that the story—and Eddie will be spiked.