Twenty-five years ago, in a small Iowa town, an asylum for the criminally insane burned to the ground, killing inmates and employees. The fire was set by Paul Renard, a sexual psychopath who escaped the blaze and disappeared. Today young Ricky Hennessey faces murder charges in the death of his girlfriend. His defense: Paul Renard did it.
Legal investigator Robert Payne joins the case at the request of Tandy West, a cable TV psychic and Payne's former lover. She's doing a piece on the Hennessey case for her show but has begun to question her gift and feels the need for Payne's reality-based investigatory skills. With the assistance of the local police chief, Susan Charles, Payne learns that the past has invaded the future in a most unexpected way.