To betray a loved one or a friend is a grievous breech of trust. It is a form of murder, brutalizing the tenderness and intimacy of the soul. Christopher Bertolini and William Goldman's slick and clever screen adaptation of Nelson DeMille's 1992 novel, directed by Simon West, explores this moral terrain with aplomb.

All of the wily skills of U.S. Army criminal investigator Paul Brenner (John Travolta) are brought to the fore when he is called upon to investigate the murder of Captain Elisabeth Campbell (Leslie Stefanson), an expert in psychological operations who also was the daughter of General Campbell (James Cromwell), a distinguished leader who is being considered as a candidate for Vice President in an upcoming campaign.

Brenner's partner on the investigation, which is set on a Southern U.S. Army base, is Sarah Sunhill (Madeleine Stowe), an old girlfriend of his who fuels his passion for justice and his smooth wit. Both personality characteristics are very evident when he tangles with the intelligently venomous Colonel Moore (James Woods), Elizabeth's commanding officer and mentor. Other suspects include the base's provost marshal, Colonel Kent (Timothy Hutton); Colonel Fowler (Clarence Williams III), General Campbell's loyal right-hand man; some former cadets from Elizabeth's West Point days; and the son of a local police chief who was dating her at the time of her death.