In this thriller, an aging cat burglar becomes a crusader embroiled in a deadly cat-and-mouse game involving murder and a government cover-up. Adapted by distinguished scenarist William Goldman from a novel by David Baldacci and featuring a powerful all-star cast, the story works at different levels, not only as a straight-forward thriller but also as an insightful look at the love between the old thief and his estranged daughter, a highly successful prosecuting attorney. The trouble begins when ex-con Luther Whitney (Clint Eastwood, who also directed) decides to pull off one last heist before retiring. Just as he finishes looting the vault of a well-fortified mansion, a drunken couple enters the adjoining bedroom apparently eager to start making love. But something goes awry and a violent tussle ensues that abruptly ends when gun-wielding men bust in and shoot down the woman. During the ensuing chaos, Luther slips out. Only later does the audience learn that the would-be lovers were U.S.-President Alan Richmond (Gene Hackman) and Christy Sullivan (Melora Hardin), the young wife of the President's biggest supporter Walter Sullivan (E.G. Marshall). As the investigation and cover-up begins, Luther, who has already been contacted by hard-boiled and suspicious detective Seth Frank (Ed Harris) begins to fear that he will be blamed for the killing and prepares to leave the country. He tries to see his daughter Kate (Laura Linney) to make peace with her for having been absent in prison during most of her life, but she rejects him. Luther goes to the airport, but just before he flies, he sees a press conference in which President Richmond, without so much as a twitch, goes on a tirade concerning his stand against violence. Something inside him snaps and he abruptly decides to stay and fight for justice.