Synopsis: On the outskirts of Miami’s residential sprawl a man is found dead in his living room with a bullet through his chest. His twin children, Jolene and Lucas, 17, are the primary suspects – but they’ve run. According to the subsequent news conference the local police department have put one of their finest on the job, Detective John Corbin.
Despite only being a junior detective, John carries a lot of weight in the halls of the department. Thanks to his successful track record, and to his uncle being the captain— Captain Dan Corbin— he’s always been able to do things his own way. That’s why he doesn’t take it particularly well when, under pressure from the city to speedily resolve the case, his uncle assigns old Edwin ‘Eddy’ Marks to assist John.
Eddy is everything John is not; he’s conscientious, honest, law-abiding, organized, and with all that— the least liked man on the force.
At the crime scene Eddy does his best to quell their differences, but John is too proud or too immature to play nice. While Eddie searches Lucas’ room, John is in Jolene’s room looking at her photos, with attention paid to the most recent of them stored on a cheap digital camera. His eyes linger on some of the more provocative snapshots.
John catches a break when he finds a diary tucked beneath Jolene’s bed. The look on his face suggests this could be an important clue – so important that he doesn’t tell Eddy about it. With the diary concealed, John excuses himself from the crime scene.
As John skims through Jolene’s diary, reading her most private of experiences and thoughts, he starts to feel affection towards its author. He begins ‘working from home’ on the case, which means little more than reading her diary in privacy and hiding it not only from Eddie and the police department, but also his wife Kimberly. The diary holds little evidence besides a few mentions of Jolene’s late grandmother’s residence—a possible refuge for the fugitives.
John’s absence does not go unnoticed by Eddie who is constantly trying in vain to make contact with John. And though not physically absent, Kimberly too, notices an obvious rift forming in their relationship, which only seems to grow wider as John goes deeper into the case.
John tracks the pair of fugitives to a place called Emmittson in the Everglades. His first day of searching Emmittson comes up empty. But his gut instincts pay off when he spots Lucas riding a bicycle down one of the rural dirt roads. John covertly trails him on foot, to an abandoned lakeside trailer. But instead of barging in at the first sight, John takes a more calculated approach – he goes back to Miami and buys a puppy.
Remembering that Jolene had written in her diary that she loves dogs, he shows up in casual clothes with a puppy. With Lucas off scavenging, Jolene can’t help but greet this adorable puppy that comes running down her driveway with open arms, and though cautious at first at the sight of its owner, she soon warms up.
But before they can get too well acquainted Lucas arrives home to find his sister talking with this stranger. At the mere sight he flies into a rage and yells at John to get off the property.
That evening, without anywhere else to bring him, John takes the puppy home. Kimberly believes that the puppy is John’s way of apologizing. John’s life is beginning to split in two.
Meanwhile, despite John’s obvious disinterest in their partnership, Eddie implores John to start anew and work together on the case. John, worried that Eddie is on to something, agrees to start collaborating, doing his best to lead his partner astray.
The following day John grabs the puppy, changes into plain clothes, and they again visit the trailer. Lucas is not home and Jolene invites them inside. Jolene sees his ring and he has to admit that he is married.
On his bicycle ride back to the trailer Lucas spots John’s Crown Victoria pulling out of the woods and onto the road – it’s unmistakably a cop’s car.
During the lengthy drive back home John falls asleep at the wheel. The car flips when he tries to regain control on the soft ground. Though a bad accident, John is able to climb out of the overturned car barely injured. But the dog is dead. His wife is sad about the dog, but happy that John is okay.
A few days later, John is back at the trailer visiting Jolene – but this time she’s not alone. Lucas accuses John of being a cop and threatens him with a rifle. Jolene is quick to defend him and tries to calm her brother down. But then John drops the bomb –he is in fact a cop.
Stunned, Jolene runs away in disbelief. John is left to defend himself from the advancing Lucas. A brawl ensues. John outweighs the scrawny kid. He tells him he won't turn them in. As a sign of good faith John offers to take Lucas to the general store to buy whatever groceries they need.
Jolene on the other hand takes some more subtle work. Finally, he is able to convince her of his good intentions. Jolene asks John if he’d like to stay over. Realizing that he must get home, John pries himself away.
John returns the very next day to check up on Jolene and Lucas. He finds the latter fishing and in good spirits. Excusing himself, John leaves Lucas to go help Jolene with lunch. In the privacy of the trailer John surprises Jolene with her diary. While at first Jolene is embarrassed that John has read her private writings, it becomes apparent that now there is a deeper connection between them.
For a few glorious days John is able to keep up this charade, but all things must come to an end. Eddie is getting close. As John drives out of the city again towards the swamps he’s tormented by the realization that it’s all going to end.
John warns Jolene of the impending danger, and then makes a dramatic proclamation when he suggests that she should run away – with him. But Lucas won’t allow it. He’s sick of John’s authority and the relationship with Jolene. He threatens him again, and John must leave.
Along the main highway that leads back to Miami John notices a car similar to the one he’s driving travelling in the opposite direction. It's Eddie! John turns around.
When Eddie pulls up to the trailer, Lucas think it's John. Blinded by the headlights of the car, he raises the rifle. Eddie yells back at Lucas to drop the weapon, but this strange assertive voice startles Lucas. The rifle goes off sending a bullet into Eddie’s chest, instantly killing him.
John arrives to find Lucas and Jolene over the body of Eddie.
John arrives. He and Lucas load the body into the trunk of Eddie’s car. The three of them take both the cars to a swamp, where they push Eddie’s car under water.
But Lucas pulls a double cross, wanting to get rid of John. Jolene won't allow it. She takes John's gun and tells her brother to stop. He refuses.
BANG! Jolene fires at Lucas – but she misses. Lucas fires two shots, one shatters the car window, the other causes Jolene to cover her face and fall to the ground.
But the third shot, Lucas looks down to see blood coming out of his chest, and then over at John who is holding a gun he had concealed around his ankle. Before Lucas can retaliate he’s overwhelmed by the pain of being shot. John watches him fall to the ground before running over to Jolene.
John reaches Jolene but the sight is too much to bear. He begins gagging and sobbing when he sees her once beautiful face, deconstructed and rearranged by the bullet.
And so John is left alone in the night, with two lives erased before him.