Victoria “V.I” Warshawski is a Chicago based private detective who agrees to babysit for her new boyfriend; then he is murdered. Being the detective type, she makes the murder her next case. In doing so she befriends the victim’s daughter, Kat, and together they set out to crack the case.
Henry Manning (Paul Newman) has come up with a new way to break out of prison: fake a stroke and get transferred to a nursing home. It’s a perfect plan, except for one thing: the woman assigned to take care of him at the nursing home, Carol Ann McKay (Linda Fiorentino), has a plan of her own.
Hit man Cleve approaches writer/cop Dennis about a story for his next book: How Cleve made a living, working for one of the most powerful politicians in the country. To get the story right, they travel around the country to gather statements and evidence, while strong forces use any means they can to keep the story untold.
When a dead newborn is found, wrapped in bloody sheets, in the bedroom wastebasket of a young novice, psychiatrist Martha Livingston is called in to determine if the seemingly innocent novice, who knows nothing of sex or birth, is competent enough to stand trial for the murder of the baby.