Synopsis:Nick Porter is a district attorney labeled "The Iceman" for his intense, direct, and emotionless courtroom manner. He is currently trying Julius Westman, an alleged crime syndicate boss, and a man who has been indicted but never convicted on an arm's-length list of horrendous crimes.
Into this picture comes a mysterious, seductive, dangerous hired killer who can murder with little provocation and no regret. She is hired to assassinate the eager district attorney who is getting dangerously close to destroying this once untouchable criminal corporation. She agrees gladly.
Nick prepares the state's key witness, a bit actress who slept with Westman and recorded their conversations as "insurance." As this witness takes the stand, a gunman suddenly breaks into the courtroom and shoots the witness dead.
Depression engulfs Nick. He seems to be taking the case too personally, and his friend Jerry tells him so. It is personal, Nick proclaims. He grew up in the ghetto and these criminals used to be his acquaintances and, in some cases, his friends.
Nick's friend from the ghetto, Mario, shows up suddenly. He wants to turn state's witness. He wants to tell what he knows and start a new life for himself and his family. But he also wants protection. Nick promises it, but the mysterious hired killer finds Mario easily. She seduces him in a shabby motel room. After a raucous episode of kinky sex, she kills him.
Nick once again sees his case lost. He also knows that it's his fault for not giving Mario the protection he needed. Jerry suggests they go to a bar and drink away their troubles. There, Nick meets a seductive woman, Brenda, and takes her home. Once home, they make love, but he leaves her for a moment and returns to find her neck has been broken by an intruder - the hired killer - who has disappeared.
Jerry, a policeman, places a constant police guard around Nick's house. Nick goes to an art museum to relax but finds that the odd, experimental paintings drive him into a severe anxiety attack. As he attempts to recover, he runs into Tanya, an old flame from the old neighborhood. She says she is in trouble and needs a place to stay, and after some time he is able to persuade her to stay with him.
In the meantime, Jerry goes into Julius Westman's house, determined to make charges stick against Westman, and plants a bag of heroin. When Nick finds out, he erupts. He won't stoop to their level. He and Jerry argue and Jerry leaves, angry and bewildered. He goes to the gym to work out and meets a mysterious woman who spars with him, then kills him brutally.
After Nick finds out about Jerry's death, he returns to the courtroom and introduces the phony evidence. Afterwards, he returns home and he and Tanya have passionate, kinky sex. He sleeps, and a recurring dream is finally revealed in full. It is his memory as a teenager of his rape of Tanya for the pleasure of his hoodlum friends. He wakes up suddenly - sweaty and shameful. This is what drives him with such intensity in his criminal prosecutions - an attempt to erase his own youthful crimes.
Tanya, too, is driven. She is driven both by the rape and Nick’s subsequent departure from the old neighborhood, from her. She has never forgiven him for leaving her. Each man she kills, for she is the mysterious killer, is Nick dying over and over again. The two of them fight and finally, Tanya dies in his arms. It seems his victories are never sweet.