P.I. Sharon McCone is sick and tired of San Francisco's persistent rainy weather, so she jumps at the chance to investigate the sabotage of a movie being filmed on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The documentary is based on the writings of Elson Wellbright, a descendant of a missionary family and scholar of Hawaiian culture and history. Wellbright's son is bankrolling the project and has angered many members of the family, who aren't anxious for the film to be completed. Soon the sabotage escalates into violence and the matriarch of the Wellbright family falls to her death during a shoot on a clifftop. McCone's investigation takes her into a world of family secrets, drug dealing, political insurgency, and murder.