When Ann Carpenter dies, her family is torn apart, and they grasp at anything to keep them afloat in her absence. It takes four years for her husband, Bobby "Carp" Carpenter, to come to his senses and try to bring his derailed family back together. But there are many challenges in the way of Carp and the success he would like to achieve.
In those four years, Carp''s two children decide they no longer want anything to do with him. His son, Ben, immerses himself in his studies. His daughter, Lisa, has filled the void left by a dead mother and an absent father with an older boy named Joe Don Hatch, who takes full advantage of her vulnerability. Carp struggles to get through to his children but must focus on other things when a bookie he placed bets with turns up dead. The police focus on Carp, accusing him of the murder.
It''s up to Davis, a longtime family friend and a Vietnam veteran, to rescue his beleaguered buddy and adopted family. But to do so, Davis must face off with both the law and the underground lords of illegal gambling.