London in the 1980s is a city quickly adapting to new technologies in the fields of finance, music, computer games and of course, bank security. A local high street bank is an early adopter of the new technology and becomes an unlikely temporary holding facility for the Meidan-i-Noor, an emerald the size of a fist.
A group of bank robbers, dubbed The Cowboys by the press, are tearing up the town with one audacious robbery after another. Brilliantly executed plans using the latest technology are making the police look tired and irrelevant. Its not long before the The Cowboys are informed of the whereabouts of the Emerald. The Cowboys are Silver (John Simm), Butch (Cristian Solimeno), Billy (Ashley Walters) and Earp (Philip Glenister). Silver is the driver. Butch is the muscle. Billy is the brains and Earp is the experience. Earp knows that opportunities are becoming harder to find and so this last job had better be a big one.
Two of the clerks at the bank hear of the emerald. Angie (Kate Magowan) feels that shes been passed over for promotion because of a glass ceiling. Samantha (Kristy Mitchell) is tired of her job and easily led. Both are gorgeous, and certainly trouble for anyone taking them for granted, and that includes bank robbers.
William is a middle-aged suburban salary slave, whose independently wealthy wife is having an open affair with his boss. What William does best, is to suffer in silence, although all thats about to change when he discovers that a bank will not lend him enough money to cut his losses and move on.
Jerry (Kevin McNally) is the police detective, charged with the responsibility of finding The Cowboys and bringing them to justice. Hes close to retirement and doesnt want his legacy to be a string of unsolved bank jobs. His deputy Thomas (Dylan Brown), is snapping at his heels. Jerry may think his life is complicated enough, but an unwelcome appearance from a familiar face will show how mistaken he is.
We join the story in the police interrogation room, where all the characters must eventually sit. Every one of them has their own version of events, and the story of the robbery is revealed through a series of their flashbacks. Nothing really adds up. Maybe The Cowboys are the least deserving of a sentence for this crime. Maybe theres more to William than meets the eye. Maybe its really true that smart and pretty girls get away with absolutely everything. Maybe Jerry and Thomas havent got a hope in hell of solving this before the audience, although heaven knows there are enough clues.