In Los Angeles, Moses Wine, who was part of the counter-culture of the late 1960s at UC-Berkeley, still has those radical feelings but no longer does anything about them. His wife Suzanne, who has transformed from a 1960s hippie to a 1970s new-ageist, divorced him when his law school background didn't materialize into the upper middle class liberal life she was expecting, she having sole custody of their two young sons, with Moses having visitation rights. Moses fell into work as a private investigator of the gumshoe variety, which usually doesn't cover his monthly child support payments. After not seeing her for ten years, Moses is contacted by Lila Shea, an old girlfriend from Berkeley, to do some investigative work on behalf of her boss, Sam Sebastian, the Southern California coordinator for the gubernatorial campaign of Congressman Miles Hawthorne. Lila felt Moses would be well suited to the job because of running within "the" crowd at Berkeley, even if only knowing the main players by name and reputation. Flyers have been circulating with a doctored photo of Hawthorne and Howard Eppis in a friendly embrace, Eppis who in the late 1960s was part of the California 4 - the other three being Michael and Wendy Linker, and Luis Vasquez - an anti-establishment group convicted of several counts related to their work against the government. While the Linkers are behind bars probably for the rest of their lives, Luis Vasquez is a free man working for the rights of Mexican laborers, while Eppis has been a fugitive ever since, the authorities who are still looking for him. The flyers, which contain extreme socialist rhetoric and an implication of Hawthorne welcoming Eppis' endorsement, have the potential to derail Hawthorne's campaign. Moses is tasked with finding out who is behind the flyers - the most obvious being the campaign of Hawthorne's competitor, Senator Dillworthy - and if it is indeed not Eppis, why they would have specifically used Eppis' name. Moses accepts the job despite not endorsing Hawthorne - or Dillworthy for that matter - he equating Hawthorne's excitement factor to watching paint dry. The further Moses and Lila get into the investigation, the number of unanswered questions they have grows, and the more people who were associated with Eppis at the time cannot be located, including Oscar Procari, Jr., who funded the California 4's defense probably to spite his industrialist father. With the many trails, Moses and Lila still believe finding Eppis would answer many questions. All the while, Moses tries to rekindle a relationship with Lila. The investigation ends up having a change of focus with the potential for deadly violence on multiple levels and when incidents makes it personal to Moses.