In a mountainous South American country, drug-dealing rebels kidnap Peter Bowman, a US engineer who works for an oil company's subsidiary. The company calls in a negotiator, Terry Thorne, an Aussie ex-soldier based in London. When the subsidiary goes bankrupt, the oil company washes its hands of the matter and pulls Thorne. Bowman's wife Alice begs him to stay. She and Peter's sister cobble together some money, Thorne talks ransom terms with the cash-strapped rebels, and Peter, chained high in the mountains, is sustained by a photo of Alice. When the politics of the situation change, so must Thorne's strategy. And what can Alice and he do about the attraction growing between them?