Paul Berthier, an ambitious public prosecutor, is witness to the accidental drowning of a young girl in the Charente but does nothing to help. It starts to look like the girl was murdered, and the case lands on Berthier's desk. Suspicion turns to Guillaume Vauban, the rich son of a local industrialist and ex-boyfriend of the dead girl. Paul Berthier finds himself entangled in a web of lies as he opens the case against Guillaume, who has now been arrested. With a conscience far from clear, Berthier agrees with the judge's decision to remand the young man in custody. Through cowardice Berthier clings to his reputation, determined to save face at any cost. Drunk with judicial power, he's caught in a downward spiral.