What would you do if your friend turned out not to be the man you thought he was and after his death, you discover he has left you millions of dollars he stole decades earlier?
That's the dilemma facing Mark Vogel after finding out he was the sole beneficiary of his friend's estate, an estate made up of the proceeds of a very sophisticated electronic bank robbery of millions of dollars.
After serious soul-searching, he decides to do the right thing and return the ill-gotten money to its rightful owners. He enlists the help of his wife and her boss, both of whom work for the bank where the money was originally stolen, in an effort to "do the right thing"
It's then everything goes completely and terribly wrong for Mark Vogel.
Cecil Lawrence was lost in thought the day he met Mark Vogel. Being lost in thought and not watching where he was going was the catalyst that facilitated the chance meeting between the two men when Cecil happened to step out in front of Mark’s car. The next time the two men met was a few hours later on the sixth floor of the Parkland Hospital where Cecil had been taken and where Mark had gone, after dealing with the police, to check up on how the older man was doing. It was the first of a number of visits over the next few days and the beginning of a deep and meaningful friendship between the two.
Cecil Lawrence was retired from a job that “involved computers”. He had recently returned to Texas, after over two decades living outside of the US, in hopes of receiving treatment for what turned out to be terminal cancer.
Mark Vogel was a middle-aged software executive with a company of which he had once been a part owner. Struggling with a marriage he was regretting and a job that required him to do things he did not agree with, Mark welcomed the escape of his friendship with Cecil.
For a year the two men shared a love of chess, an appreciation for a cold beer, and each other’s company until cancer claimed Cecil’s life.
A few days after his friend’s funeral Mark was surprised to receive a phone call from a lawyer, claiming not only to be handing Cecil’s estate but, informing Mark that Cecil had named him his sole heir. The lawyer invited Mark to his offices the next day for the reading of his former friend’s will. The following day, in the presence of Winston Lawton, Cecil’s lawyer, Mark’s grief was replaced by curiosity and concern as he was faced with more than just the normal last will and testament but, also a safety deposit box key and instructions on how to gain access to the box located in a bank in the Bahamas.
A week later, Mark quietly arrived at the Commonwealth Intercontinental Bank in Nassau. It was there, in Nassau, sitting in the safety deposit vault room, reading a long letter from his friend and a handful of old newspaper clippings, Mark Vogel discovered the dark secret Cecil Lawrence had kept hidden for more than 20 years. A secret from a life that had been altered, erased, forgotten, and now buried …