Set against the backdrop of civil war and chaos in 1990's Sierra Leone, Danny Archer, a South African mercenary, and Solomon Vandy, a Mende fisherman are joined in a common quest to recover a rare pink diamond that can transform their lives. While in prison for smuggling, Archer learns that Solomon--who was taken from his family and forced to work in the diamond fields--has found and hidden the extraordinary rough stone. With the help of Maddy Bowen, an American journalist whose idealism is tempered by a deepening connection with Archer, the two men embark on a trek through rebel territory--a journey that could save Solomon's family and give Archer the second chance he thought he would never have.