Since it became obvious New Orleans was in the direct path of the hurricane, an evacuation of inmates from the prison was initiated. A caravan of busses took their unsavory passengers to other prisons in Alabama and Texas. As soon as the last three buses were full, the respective drivers headed to Texas in hopes of outrunning the life threatening flood waters, which, without a doubt were going to swallow up everything and everyone in their path. Five death row inmates were left behind. It was certain the antiquated, inadequate levees would not hold for long. The result of their giving way most certainly would be catastrophic and New Orleans inevitably would be submerged twenty-five feet beneath the deadly waters of Lake Pontchartrain.
Three of the youngest guards were left to supervise the exodus. If the inmates did not survive, it would be no loss to society. They all had exhausted every appeal the law allowed and were waiting for their execution. Now they were doomed to a watery grave unless one of the guards took pity on them and set them free. It would be every man for himself. The prisoners, who typically spent hours every day lifting weights and strengthening their bodies, make a break for freedom. However, it is not long before two of them are incarcerated in Texas and the third dies in a shootout in a bank robbery. That left two murders on the loose: but where were they, and more importantly what were they doing?
The story traces the escapees for seven years. One continues to act according to form and excitingly lives on the edge avoiding one capture after another; however, the second killer, who has had the advantage of an outstanding education and an honorable family life, meets a wonderful young lady who unknowingly motivates him to a higher standard of life. With his new identity he cleverly gains respectability and stature in high society. From outward appearances he has everything a man could desire; however, his paranoia invades his days and especially his restless nights and nearly consumes him.
The subplot focuses upon a neophyte reporter whose exuberance and humorously unorthodox methods of getting the story, unwittingly weaves in and out of the second killer’s life.