Zach Rivers is a Government spy. He has been one of their most successful agents of the last ten years, uncovering and foiling plans all over the world. He was the man responsible for bringing down the corrupt Governments in both Zimbabwe and Libya. He had been sent on a peacemaking mission to North Korea, the first in a decade to do so. Within his own country, the USA, Zach has worked frequently in California to bring down both crime on the street and off it.
Zach’s suspicions are aroused when he notices the way in which the right-wing politician Tom Roberts is taking the country by storm. Zach smuggles his way into one of Tom’s rallies and forces his way past the guards backstage. Zach overhears Roberts speaking with President of the Senate Dylan Cahill about appointing favourable election observers. It is clear that Roberts has rigged the system so that he is guaranteed to win the LA Governor elections. Rivers immediately reports back to the FBI and is surprised by the lack of interest the topic receives.
All of sudden one week later, Zach receives a letter confirming that he has been retired from the service. Presumably, this is due to information he uncovered one week earlier.
After spending some time frustrated about his ‘lack of action’, Zach discovers the murder of the innocent man Mark Jones. Zach interviews Mark’s wife Lisa, who despite her apparent grief, takes a shine to Zach and wishes for him to uncover what really happened to her husband.
Zach initially decides to question Lisa about Mark, what his interests were, what he was up to in his final days, in an attempt to find out something suspicious. Lisa is cooperative but does not reveal any case changing information. It is not until she mentions that Mark was a hyperlocal journalist in his spare time that Zach realises the case is an unusual one. After searching through Mark’s computer, Zach finds the blog that Mark had written. It becomes clear that he had been investigating the affairs of Tom Roberts himself days before his death. Whilst it looks like the two cases are linked, Zach needs to find some proof.
Whilst it looks like the two cases are linked, Zach needs to find some proof. Rivers visits the morgue in which Mark’s body is being kept. He speaks to the mortician and the coroner. The cause of death was determined as the consumption of poison, but they cannot identify what the food in his stomach is. Zach charges across the city back to Lisa to find out what he had eaten in his last days. Lisa reveals that Mark enjoyed eating at a particular Sushi restaurant on Friday evenings.
When Zach pays a visit to the restaurant, ‘Sushi ParLAour’, he asks to review all the CCTV footage from the last week. However, he no longer has the credentials to do so as he does not work for the FBI anymore. But his skills have not left him. Rivers steals a copy of the company payroll and notices that one chef, in particular, received a rather large bonus that week. This man, Ming Xu, had worked at the restaurant for three years and had no prior criminal record. But when Zach examines the electoral roll, he notices that Xu is a large donor to the same party that Roberts is part of.
Zach asks Lisa to interview Ming to see if he cooked Mark’s dish on the night of his death. But she claims it would all be too emotional for her. Therefore, Zach has to do the dirty work himself and politely asks Ming for an interview, who is very obliging. However, within the interview room itself, Ming appears to be ‘very forgetful’ of what he cooked that night, but records show that he was in charge of producing the Fugu for the restaurant, as he is the only man qualified to do so. If this fish is not prepared properly, the consumer will die. Fugu was a dish that Mark particularly enjoyed and was likely to have ordered that evening. In the heat of the moment, Ming confesses he had been paid off by Tom Robert’s associates to ‘ill-prepare’ the dish so that a certain customer would meet their ends. His family lived in the very poor part of LA and they desperately needed the money, hence why Xu had committed such an atrocious act.
Once the private detective has found all the evidence he needs-he rushes back to tell Lisa the news about her husband. She is waiting for him, having been tipped off by Xu that he had revealed all. She holds an unarmed Zach at gunpoint and tells him that she works for Roberts. She was hired as a means of silencing the whistleblowers about his party. Rivers feels betrayed as he thought he and Lisa had something special together, but her ‘love’ for him had been a ruse.
Zach is forced to give up the chase as Tom Roberts wins the election by a landslide to become the LA Governor. He ends as a broken man.