Home from Iraq, a lieutenant kills his commanding officer - was it self-defence or pre-meditated murder?
The McCarrans and the Gallaghers, two families with deep ties to the military, have been close for decades. Now, Lt. Brian McCarran returns from a harrowing tour in Iraq. Traumatized by war-time experiences he will not reveal, Brian depends on his lifelong friendship with Kate Gallagher, who is married to Brian's commanding officer in Iraq, Capt. Joe D'Abruzzo. But D'Abruzzo also seems changed - he's become secretive and remote.
Tragedy strikes when Brian shoots and kills D'Abruzzo on their army post in Virginia. Brian pleads self-defence, claiming that D'Abruzzo accused him of interfering with his marriage, and attacked him. Kate supports Brian and says that her husband had become violent and abusive. But Brian and Kate have secrets of their own.
Capt. Paul Terry, an accomplished young army lawyer, will defend Brian in a high-profile court martial. His co-counsel is Meg McCarran, Brian's sister, the brilliant, beautiful attorney determined to help save her brother. Terry soon becomes deeply entwined with Meg and the McCarrans - and learns that families, like war, can break the sturdiest of souls.