The film opens at the Kyle Medford residence. It is a house full of beautiful artwork and other art and ethnic pieces. There are photos of Medford taken with Reagan, Thatcher etc. on the walls. We hear a man begging then hear the sounds of him being struck several times - screaming with each blow. Blood flows from beneath a screen.
Black and white Ball:
Trina Gavin and her husband (Matt) are disagreeing over a client her husband is representing (Mr. Murphy). Her husband is one of the top defence lawyers in San Francisco, representing many powerful but unsavory clients.
David Corelli is a friend and asks Trina to dance. As they dance, it is obvious that he cares deeply for her. Matt steps up and takes over the dance, and Corelli walks off. He is paged and goes to courtesy phone in the bar area.
Corelli is the Assistant D.A. (Homicide) for San Francisco and he is called to the Medford residence due to the high publicity that would surround the murder of such a powerful and rich man. He enters the house and meets Det. Bob Hargrove beside the body.
Medford is, spreadeagled and hanging from a frame by handcuffs. He has four separate cuts - 2 to the jugular - and the police believe that the weapon used was an African hatchet. Medford was wearing an African fertility mask when they found him. Corelli finds a collection of small pill-boxes containing pubic hair. As he sits down on the bed, he spies a glint of light, looks down and finds a cufflink under the bed. It is shaped like an anchor. He convinces Heller to let him hold onto this piece of 'evidence' for the time being.
As he leaves the Medford residence, Hargrove follows him down the stairs.
Hargrove: Media going to turn this into an X-rated gang bang. You gotta be loving this shit.
Corelli meets with Trina in the park. She tries to warn him about Kyle's death being the tip of the iceberg. Later, he asks for a favour from a previous defendant. Corelli shows him a small silver box with a chinese symbol on top. He wants to know what the symbol means and where the expensive box was made. The defendant takes him to a Chinese man who can translate the symbol and who might know of the box's origin. Corelli learns that the symbol is JADE and the box was made as a special order for a lady to a rich man.
Corelli is a Catholic and he goes to church. He is not expecting to see Matt Gavin there. They are jest friendly.
Matt: She said you were a terrible lover
In Police Station:
Hargrove's co-worker, Karen Heller, works for Corelli and she does not like Hargrove. They are looking through all the evidence gathered, including compromising photographs of various people engaged in sexual activity, from Medford's home but, much to Heller's annoyance, Hargrove is withholding Photos of the Governor of California that were found in Medford's safe. Hargrove's reasoning is that he does not want to involve the Governor in this murder because of the ensuing scandal, but he hands over the photos to Corelli on demand.
Corelli visits the Golden Bay Club, which has the same symbol as found on the cufflink. Corelli plays squash with Matt Gavin and it is obvious that this is a regular occurrence. Matt explains, while they play, that there are three fun things in life: Money, Sex and Power.
Later, Corelli arranges an appointment to see Governor Edwards, and here, he tells Edwards that the investigating officers know about the compromising photos of the governor. The governor makes a veiled threat towards Corelli.
In the meantime, Dr. Katrina Gavin, a psychologist, is out of town giving a lecture on Violent Behaviour, talking about how some people suppress memories of the violence they have inflicted on others. She calls her husband but he does not answer the phone even though he is at his office. Instead, Matt walks out to the courtyard where a business-suit clad woman unzips his pants and proceeds to give him oral sex.
Corelli and his boss - the District Attorney - dislike each other. The D.A. position is coming up for re-election, and the D.A. does not want to ruin his chances of re-election and so is unwilling to cause any ripples with the Governor. Nonetheless, Corelli manages to get a search warrant for Medford's retreat in Pacifica. Medford had owned the house for the past two years and, on investigation, Corelli and the police (including Hargrove) discover sex toys, drugs and hidden video cameras in numerous room, leading Det. Petey Vasko to call it a fuckhouse.
A police officer finds a tape in the fire that has been burnt, but Corelli wants it checked in case any of the tape has survived.
Hargrove is with the next door neighbor, Justin Henderson, who explains to him and Corelli that he has seen a lot of people coming and going. He does not know any names but he believes he can pick out photos of some of the women who regularly frequented the place. Corelli notices that Henderson has a telescope pointing at his neighbor's house, and realizes the man probably knew what was going on in there and was peeping. Henderson picks out a photo of Patrice Jacinto.
The police track down the girl in the compromising photos with the Governor. Her name is Patrice Jacinto. After a foot-chase, Corelli manages to capture her and she is brought into the station. She talks about Jade with more than just professional jealousy but also a certain amount of adoration. She tells them how Jade liked to bend over, turn around and take it any way. That she could not get enough of it. Hargrove gives a quirk of his lips on hearing that especially when she says she loved it. Jacinto says the Governor wanted Jade, and that Jade had rocked his world.
Vasko: Did you ever have a broad rock your world?
Corelli gets into his car but when he applies the brakes, nothing happens. With San Francisco being filled with steep hills, the car speeds up and Corelli is forced to crash the car in order to stop it. When he wakes up he is on the hospital with a bandage on his left temple and cheek. Hargrove and Vasko are there. They reveal that an inspection of Corelli's car shows that someone had tampered with the brake line, cutting it.
Hargrove: Somebody up there loves you, Corelli.
Fingerprints found in Medford's main residence, on the murder weapon, are identified as belonging to Anna Katrina Maxwell, an former Animal Rights Activist when in Stamford.
Henderson Identifies Katrina as one of the girls who frequented the Pacifica house, but Corelli knows her better as Trina Gavin. When Corelli gets back to the office, Hargrove (in beige sweater), Pat Callendar and Vasko are in corridor discussing whether Corelli should back out of the investigation now that he has a personal interest in it. Instead, Corelli wants to know what Henderson has to say and they decide that they need to speak with Trina.
Hargrove: Let's go get her.
Corelli goes to see Matt and tells him that he wants to speak with Trina officially concerning her involvement with Medford. Gavin agrees that they can come to the house.
Corelli, Hargrove, Heller, Vasko and Callendar discuss the Forensics which prove that not all of the blood samples found in Medford's bathroom are his.
Hargrove: Who's gonna ask Mrs. Gavin for a sample?
Vasko, Hargrove and Corelli go to the Gavin residence where Hargrove introduces himself to Trina Gavin and proceeds to ask her about her interest in Medford, and to explain how her fingerprints could be found there. Medford was killed on the Saturday evening (around 9 p.m.) and she states that she was in his house at 4 p.m. concerning a donation he had pledged. While there, Medford had showed her several new African pieces he had acquired, including a fertility mask.
Hargrove: Have you ever been to Medford's home in Pacifica?
Trina responds that she had no social contact with Medford. Corelli asks her if she had ever had sex with Medford.
Trina: I said I had no social contact. I do consider sex to be a social contact, David.
They head back to the office and, once more, Hargrove taunts Corelli.
Hargrove: She's lying.
Vasko: Typical shrink behaviour. They like to pull your strings.
Trina and Matt have sex but she does not seem to enjoy it, leaving an unpleasant encounter for both of them
Hargrove, Vasko and a laboratory technician are waiting for Corelli so they can view the salvaged tape - found partially burned at the Pacifica house. All of them look on in surprise and curiosity as they watch a grainy image of a girl on the film ramming a dildo up a man's ass. Once more, Hargrove uses this to taunt Corelli.
Hargrove: You ever take it like that, Corelli?
On film, the man is performing oral sex on the woman, leaving Vasko to remark, Boy, it's a wonderful country, isn't it?
The technician laughs but then he is ordered to freeze frame and magnify on girl's face as she faces towards the camera for the first time. The woman is easily identified as Trina Gavin, and Corelli turns to Vasko, concerning the revelation of Trina having kinky sex with an unknown man.
Vasko: I'm sorry
A little later, Corelli is in the office with Callendar. Corelli looks out the window and he sees Hargrove talking heatedly with the Governor's aide, Bill Barrett.
Corelli arranges to meet Patrice Jacinto at Washington Square, wanting to garner more information from her. However, she is run down while crossing the road, by a Black Thunderbird, and this proves no accident when the car spins round and drives back over her before speeding off. Corelli gives chase through the streets and into Chinatown where he is slowed by angry people who witness the other car plough through a festive parade, injuring others. He manages to get through and chases the car into the dock warehouse district but ends up ditched in the ocean after his car is rammed and forced off the dock.
Corelli manages to escape the sinking vehicle.
Medical Examiners Case 3209 - March 16th 1995. Patrice Jacinto, lying on a slab in the coroner's room being autopsied. Hargrove and Vasko are already there when Corelli arrives.
Hargrove: What the hell happened to you?
Corelli ignores Hargrove's question and plough ahead with his own thinly-veiled accusations.
Corelli: I didn't know you knew the Governor.
Corelli snaps and he attacks Hargrove, punching him, as is pulled off by Vasko.
Corelli: I'm onto you.
Karen Heller confronts Corelli over the cufflink as Corelli has not placed it into evidence. She asks Corelli if there was something between him and Trina Gavin. He responds that there was, a long time ago.
Vasko has located the man from the video with Jade - Mr. Green - and brings him in for questioning. Green admits that he had seen the tape about a week before Medford was murdered. Medford had blackmailed him for $100,000 with the threat to show it to Green's family if he did not pay up.
Green: I-I gave him the money. He gave me the tape. I didn't know there were copies.
Later, Corelli sees Callendar and Barrett talking in the office. Barrett wants the incriminating photos of the Governor with Jacinto, and Callendar is forced to hand them over.
Trina Gavin is brought in for questioning at the police station now that they know she has lied about her involvement in the house at Pacifica. Matt Gavin, Corelli ,Vasko, Karen and Hargrove are present. Corelli shows the Gavin's the video tape of Jade, trying to gauge her reaction. Hargrove seems uninterested in what is happening, looking at her and tapping his pen.
Hargrove: All right. Let's get on with it.
His pager goes off and he whispers something to Vasko before leaving the room. He comes back in after Gavins leave and speaks to Corelli.
Hargrove: It's time for you to take yourself out of this.
Corelli points to the two-way mirror. He goes to the room behind the mirror and kicks open the door. Inside is Bill Barrett.
Corelli: Who knew about this?
Corelli goes home, a modest but elegant/modern apartment. He has the CD they found at Medford's and he is flicking back through old photo albums of Trina, Matt and him at Stamford together.
1 and 2. Him and Matt at Stanford
There is a knock on the door. It is Trina. He invites her in and they start to talk, and it is clear that Trina is afraid.
Trina (Jade): I know too much... I know you love me.
She starts kissing and caressing him on the couch, trying to seduce him but Corelli pulls away, and he accuses her of killing Medford. The phone rings, and Corelli learns that the Pacifica neighbor, Henderson, has been murdered.
Corelli goes to Pacifica and meets Vasko there. Vasko tells him all the pertinent details, that there was no sign of forced entry. Henderson has been dead an hour, found by his brother.
Vasko: Your friend, Trina, sure gets around
Corelli phones Matt but ends up leaving a message with the housemaid, Maria. Tells Matt that he is going home to his apartment. On arrival he can hear the phone ringing, only to find Matt is waiting at his apartment with a gun.
Someone is rifling through files at the Gavin house (100 Hillsborough), wearing leather gloves. Another man is seen carrying an axe. A woman screams twice, and the axe is now bloodied. The murderer is wearing a 3/4 length coat with the collar up. He has short hair.
Jade arrives home and calls out for Maria when the lights will not come on. She goes upstairs to the second floor and calls for Matt, tripping over in the darkness. With shock, she realizes it is her housemaid, Maria, lying murdered on the floor. A man steps into view holding an axe but, this time, his silhouette shows him wearing a short jacket. Trina smashes a glass ornament over the man's head, and then runs. Another man is along the corridor. She heads for the stairs but someone grabs her leg. She manages to get free and runs into attic, locks the door and races to window but it won't open.
The first man is still going through the papers in the office downstairs. Matt Gavin and Corelli arrive and enter the house. It is Bill Barrett who searching through the papers, and he runs away. Another man fires at Matt and Corelli, and they shoot back. Pat Callendar, wearing a 3/4 length coat, is shot dead.
In the meantime, Trina tries the phone but she is caught... by Hargrove. Hargrove look different here. He has discarded the boring shirt/tie/pullover attire that he usuall wears and is, instead, wearing dark denim, a close fitting t-shirt and a leather jacket.
Hargrove: Talking to one of your boyfriends?
He attacks Trina.
Hargrove: You like it like this, don't you?
Corelli arrives and all three slam into the glass of an old window. Corelli pulls Hargrove off Trina, punching Hargrove in face twice, but then Hargrove charges and both go slamming backwards. Hargrove winds some piping - like vacuum cleaner pipe - around Corelli's throat. Corelli grabs the base of an old lamp and smashes it against side of Hargrove's head. Hargrove lands two punches before Corelli can push him off backward, dislodging a spade, and putting a little distance between them. Hargrove picks up a spade and attacks but Matt arrives at that moment. He fires three rounds at Hargrove.
1. hits abdomen, lower left side
Note: Hargrove wears a small crucifix around his neck.
Much later, in Governor Edwards' office.
Edwards: It's a tragedy for justice when law enforcement people go bad.
Corelli barters for Trina Gavin's life by mentioning the roll of film of the Governor with Patrice, that he still has a copy of in his possession.
Corelli: Leave her alone.
Outside the Gavin home, a man is sitting in a surveillance van getting sound equipment ready. He trains a laser onto the house. Inside, there are pictures of Jade with various clients scattered around, and Matt Gavin admits to his wife that he was the one who murdered Medford. Medford had been trying to blackmail him over these photos and film.
Matt: He was a scumbag.
Matt then tells Trina that he does not want her... he wants Jade.
The surveillance operator is Corelli - and he has Matt's confession on tape.