In the small town of Paradise, Massachusetts, Chief of police Jesse Stone (Tom Selleck) and his men investigate the death of teenage girl found floating in a lake. Officer Luther "Suitcase" Simpson (Kohl Sudduth) discovers a high school ring bearing the initials "HR". In the coming days, Jesse is haunted by disturbing dreams about the girl's murder. Since moving to Paradise, his private life involves drinking alone at his isolated house on the water with his dog Reggie looking on, occasionally talking on the phone with his ex-wife in California. Forced to resign from the Los Angeles Police Department for a drinking problem that began following his divorce, Jesse is still in contact with his ex-wife Jenn, who calls him regularly. Concerned about his drinking, she convinces him to see psychiatrist Dr. Dix (William Devane), a former detective and recovering alcoholic himself. Following his first session, Jesse visits the grave of his former girlfriend, Abby Taylor, for whose death he still feels deeply responsible.