Joe Bird is a maverick federal agent who has solved a lot of criminal cases, but his two latest investigations have him stymied. They are both way beyond unusual. The first is the murder of a homeless man in a campground that brings predation, cruelty, and violence to a whole new level. An itinerant teenager is arrested, found guilty and sent to prison for the heinous crime. The only problem: Bird and the young man's eccentric defense lawyer both believe the teenager is innocent, even though he confessed under pressure – but they can't prove it. Bird is then thrust into a second investigation involving a master criminal who steals a Brinks armored truck carrying $15M. The devious thief dumps $8M into a river as a diversion, then hides the rest. Bird catches the thief, but he refuses to divulge where the missing $7M in loot is hidden. He is tried, convicted, and sentenced to prison for 15 years; as fate would have it, he lands in the same jail cell as the teenager. What do the two unlikely cellmates end up having in common: Exactly nothing, except they both must survive in their own way.
While in prison both men learn that sometimes life doesn't start with a success story. Often, it starts with failure and violence. They discover it doesn't need to remain that way, because it's never too late to make your life worth living by creating value for both yourself and others in the future. This the story of how Tobias Hawkins overcomes incredible hardship, failure, and mistakes on his way to success. He learns no matter how terrible the things a person has done in life, there's always room to make life worth living. Anyone can change. He recognizes that the ability to create value in the future doesn't have to be prohibited by vices of the past…the only time anybody truly fails is when they stop trying to do better…to be better.
One of the largest treasure hunts in history ensues as the FBI, state investigators and thousands of treasure hunters trek years through the forests of North Carolina, searching old, abandoned houses, caves, and storage units for the hidden money. The hunt is on but only one person will ever find it, and after his release from prison he is determined to right some of the wrongs of his former life. The theme of this story is about redemption, forgiveness, and second chances…life is a series of choices, and for every act of injustice there is justice around the corner.