Melvin Mars awaits his fate on Death Row. He was one of America's most promising football stars until, aged twenty-years-old, he was arrested and convicted for the murder of his parents just as he was due to begin a very lucrative contract with the NFL. When Amos Decker, newly appointed special agent with the FBI, hears the news that Melvin was saved in the final seconds before his execution because someone has confessed to the killings, he persuades his boss to allow him to carry out an investigation into the Mars murders. There are facts about the case which don't add up, and as the investigation deepens, Decker and his team uncover layer upon layer of lies and deception which are rooted at a time in American history which most would rather forget, but some seem keen to remember. There is someone out there with a lot to hide, and a secret that everyone is looking for. A race against time ensues because, when revealed, that information threatens to tear apart the corridors of power at the very highest level. The case proves to be life-changing for both Mars and Decker in ways that neither could ever have imagined.