A gifted eleven year old boy, Matthew Springer, kills a twenty year old man in self defense in a South Chicago alley. There are no witnesses. He decides to tell no one. It warps his life with guilt. He decides to become a doctor so he can save lives to atone for his sin. A detective assigned to the case bungles it repeatedly. Matt succeeds in nearly everything he does but is constantly hounded by the police and the dead boy's wealthy father. As Matt Springer matures his quest becomes forgiveness.