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Coldwater Revenge


Tom Morgan is on leave from his Wall Street law firm pending the outcome of a criminal investigation by the state attorney general into the activities of Eurocon, an overseas subsidiary of a politically connected U.S. defense contractor. Tom returns to his hometown to sort his thoughts and plan a defense. But when he arrives, his younger brother, Joe, the town's solo cop, enlists Tom's help solve recent murder. The victim is Billy Pearce, the bad boy younger brother of Tom's old high school girlfriend, Susan Pearce.

Working together, the brothers quickly discover that a local bio-tech business has been acting as a no-questions-asked distributor for a shady Montreal research lab, and that Billy Pearce was their sometimes courier. Though an autopsy shows that Billy drowned, his body was riddled with deadly toxin.

Days into the investigation, Joe falls ill from exposure to same toxin found in the dead Billy Pearce. Too weak to leave the hospital, Joe pleads with Tom to take over the investigation, least the state police barge in and stumble upon Morgan family secrets best kept hidden. Tom reluctantly agrees, though by further delaying the launch of a serious defense to the Eurocon accusations, he risks jail and financial ruin.

Tom reconnects with his old high school girlfriend, Susan Pearce, sister of the dead man. But the rekindled romance is quickly stymied by Tom's discovery of evidence that links Susan and Joe to the toxin that killed Susan's brother, and to each other. Susan has plausible answers for the damning evidence, as does Joe, though their explanations are irreconcilable.

The state police arrive and take over the investigation. They give Tom an ultimatum. Help us, and we won't have to waste time investigating the cozy relationship between Morgan cops and Coldwater robbers that the locals say goes back generations. Aware that his brother lives beyond his means, as did their sheriff father before him, Tom agrees to cooperate.

Tom is abducted by the Montreal lab owner, Dr. Hassad, who was Susan's lover years ago when he was living with the Pearce family as a foreign exchange student. Local rednecks nearly beat Hassad to death when they found out about the forbidden romance. Now he's returned to exact his revenge by unleashing a deadly bio-toxin on the town.

Tom escapes with his brother's help. Susan is killed. The media runs frenzied stories about the heroic state police foiling a major terrorist plot, never mentioning the Morgan brothers or the crime's local nature. Tom agrees to let the state police take the credit, provided the state attorney general drops his bogus claims against Tom in connection with the Halliburton investigation. The attorney general agrees.

Tom is now free to return to his high-octane career; but he finds he no longer cares. Joe suggests that Tom redirect his legal and business skills to help the community build a school for troubled youths like Billy. To a spiritually and emotionally exhausted Tom, the idea is a timely life raft and he happily agrees