J. J. Jackson is an unscrupulous owner of an earthmoving construction company. It is hard times for such companies in Colorado in 1988. He drinks too much and has money problems. He cheats on his wife, who he hates him and is involved with a self-proclaimed environmental crusader. But he has a grand plan for solving his problems. There is a high-tech materials research company, Basin Technology, that is being decimated by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment due to contamination allegedly from an underground waste oil that had been recently removed. He knows the case against Basin Technology is fraudulent, and J. J. Jackson will profit handsomely if he can prove it.
To do that, he needs to find someone clever enough to figure out how the fake spill was created and prove it. He hires Bill Andrews, a mining engineer who has previously caught J. J. Jackson doing sneaky stuff. He is a man he knows has the technical know-how along with a knack of spotting fraud. He also knows Bill Andrews is going through hard times.
Bill Andrews takes the job reluctantly, assuming it will be quick and dirty review of the data accumulated by J. J. Jackson. Instead, he was soon in over his head as he uncovers a high-tech industrial hijinks involving revenge, political corruption, greed, violence, deception, betrayal, and murder, leading to a deadly confrontation near a rock formation called Devil's Knob.