It's August, 1968 and the Students for a Democratic Society and thousands of anti-war protesters are converging on Chicago for the Democratic National convention. Sean McDermott, a Northwestern University seminarian, is tossed off the chapel tower by two Viet Nam mercenaries nick-named Heckle and Jeckle. The mercenaries were convinced Sean knew the whereabouts of seven golden Buddhas originally stolen from the Thien Mu Pagoda in Viet Nam during the Battle of Hue.
Ian McDermott, Sean’s brother and an ex-military policeman from cold-war Berlin, takes the case. After burying his brother, Ian tracks his killers and tries to decipher how his brother came into possession of the golden Buddhas. Along the way, he encounters Mary Dunbar, Sean's girlfriend and anti-war leader, Fellini, a southern California surfer-filmmaker, and Reggie Koslowski, a rock’n’roll guitarist and old army buddie. This motley crew race Mary Dunbar's father, a notorious antiquities collector, and Heckle and Jeckle to find the golden Buddhas.