After years of violence, a tense calm pervades Northern Ireland, soon to be broken by Jimmy Coogan, an IRA veteran gone renegade. Jimmy has stolen ten pounds of plastic explosive, intending to destroy the parliamentary ambitions of the IRA leadership.
Into Jimmy's turbulent world come two young Americans: Brian, vain, ironic, but well-meaning; and Clare, a beautiful, earnest college student. In Ireland on an errand for his Irish Republican family in Detroit, Brian is recruited to Jimmy's bloody mission by his cousin Maire, Coogan's sharp-tongued wife. Soon they are all drawn into the unforgiving labyrinth of modern terrorism, borne toward a horrific and fatal climax.