Chicago cop Truman Gates has alienated his rural Kentucky relatives by living in the big city. Truman is happily married to Jessie, a violinist and music teacher. Back on the family spread in Kentucky, Truman's older brother Briar Gates, who has had to struggle ever since the local coal mine was closed down, resents Truman for moving to Chicago and for convincing their younger brother, Gerald Gates, to do the same. Gerald, a truck driver for a vending machine company, feels torn between Truman and Briar. But things are about to take a deadly turn, thanks to Chicago's Isabella crime family, which is led by John Isabella. In an attempt to legitimize his enterprises, John is bringing his son Lawrence Isabella, a recent business school graduate, into the Isabella family operation. That doesn't sit well with Joey Rosselini, whose plan to succeed John as the head of the family is now threatened. Insulted by being forced to groom Lawrence for a position that he feels should be his, Joey reluctantly lets Lawrence accompany him on a little trip to convince the owners of a local vending machine company to sell out to the Isabellas. Joey's method of achieving this goal is to hijack a company truck filled with merchandise, but its driver, Gerald Gates, leads them on a chase, and nearly escapes before Joey shoots him dead. By the time Truman figures out that it was Joey who killed Gerald, Briar has arrived in Chicago looking for Joey, and then Lawrence is found dead. John wants revenge, and Joey tells John that it was Truman and Briar who killed Lawrence. Briar later ends up killed by Joey in a shoot-out. Having had more than enough, Truman gets his family together for an all out war against Joey and his henchmen.