The Winter Festival is at its height in the streets of Port San Juan in Porto Rico. The island has just been hit by a storm and a rich and powerful lawyer named Hearst, aged 57, is preparing to accompany his young wife to a benefit gala for victims of the disaster. The Hearst’s receive an unexpected call. Police Captain Victor Benezet asks Hearst to pass by before the event, just to clear up one or two details in a statement the lawyer made the day before after discovering the body of a young girl who had been raped and murdered, the third such incident in a month.
Hearst and Benezet know each other. The lawyer is one of the island’s most important personalities and his marriage to the beautiful Chantal, thirty years his junior, has attracted a great deal of jealousy, while Benezet is a conscientious policeman and the father of two children with the same number of failed marriages behind him. The “friendly” visit to the police station soon becomes a tough interrogation. Hearst contradicts himself and is clearly glossing over the points he finds awkward. Benezet’s young detective partner, Felix Owens, believes the man is guilty and makes no attempt to conceal his view.