This sprawling corruption epic is the kind of movie Sidney Lumet would have made if he had been Korean. After the rape and murder of five elementary schoolgirls, the police have still failed to apprehend the serial killer. After a suspect is shot dead—with no conclusive proof of his guilt—the country's president intervenes and adds to the pressure on the police to solve the case. Choi Cheol-gi, a brilliant but sidelined detective, is assigned to the investigation and promised a promotion if he can get the police force off the hook by closing the case. Choi enlists the help of crooked businessman Jang Seok-gu to frame another suspect as the killer. However, they are being secretly monitored by Joo Yang, a Seoul District public prosecutor in the pocket of a business rival of Jang's.