Former Irish mafia hitman Brock Sheehan lives quietly on a boat fifty miles from Cleveland. His “retirement” angered the mob boss and his former job caused the Sheehan family to disown him. But when his long-lost nephew, Linus Callahan, tracks him down and asks him for assistance, he agrees to help.
A few days earlier, the nephew got into a push-and-shove bar argument with a multimillion-dollar basketball player just released from prison for running a high-level dog-fighting ring. Then the athlete is murdered, and Linus becomes the Cleveland police department’s “person of interest.” So while Brock Sheehan asks questions regarding the illegal dogfight community, the athlete’s crazed fans subject him and his live-in girlfriend to a beating, and rapes one of his co-workers at the local animal shelter.
In his travels all over NE Ohio, Brock finds himself in Youngstown where he discovers the woman he’s loved all his life, Arizona Skye, who walked out on him years ago and disappeared because of his violent profession. Now she works as a TV news reporter in Youngstown and he hopes to somehow rekindle that love from ten years ago.
Investigating the athlete’s former dogfight ring, Brock gets most unpleasant with the remaining partner—and winds up with a pit bull of his own, which he names Conor, after an Irish saint. And eventually, with Conor’s instincts, he discovers and turns over to the police the real killer of the dog-killer turned sports legend.