Set in the UK, Jacqui, a young girl grieving for her soldier father, meets Ray, a homeless young man. They fall in love, and while both envision a desirable future, this was a time of high unemployment with little to encourage optimism. Jacqui's mother, a psychic, cannot accept her husband's death--and sadly for Jacqui, disapproves of Ray.
In an ironic twist, Ray finds the very weapon Jacqui's father lost--and upsets his new love by being unable to see how any dreams can become reality without use of the gun. That this was the very philosophy that took her father heightens Jacqui's dilemma.
Meanwhile, the IRA (under the covert leadership of a London priest) plan an invasion of the army town of Aldershot--by using the newly reopened canal. In preparation for this, many operatives slowly slide into place--and with Semtex explosives supplied by Colonel Gaddafy, they wire up a Dutch barge and sail it into the town to be detonated.
As Ray and Jacqui investigate plans to make their future happiness secure, pieces of life's jigsaw are slotting into place that will conclude together in Aldershot--in a hail of love, betrayal, hate, friendship and death.