Three-fingered Jack Davis and Jesse James Hofstetler operate a dope house in Detroit. They sell some black tar heroin laced with carfentanyl, a drug used to tranquilize elephants, to a house full of addicts. Several of the addicts overdose and now Jack and Jesse are stuck with a number of dead bodies to deal with. The two men aren't evil, not in the sense of a serial killer, but under the law they have committed murder. But they also have a very human side, Jack takes in a young addict named Posie and offers her protection, and Jesse saves the life of an overdosed girl called Imogene, who goes by the name of Im. Looking for refuge they hook up with Marielle, nicknamed Hell, a prostitute who owns a house of ill repute in the neighborhood. The lives of the five become intertwined as they are investigated by tough, but fair, Detroit homicide detective Bonnie Benham. The story proceeds through the perilous habitat of drug users, dealers and detectives to an unusual, but just, conclusion.