In Lagos, the former capital of Nigeria, Louis wrestles with life in a world in which the forces of law and the forces of disorder are not always readily distinguishable and nothing is quite what it seems. On the streets, it is not the police who wield power but gangs of tough young men known as Area Boys who extract an unofficial form of taxation from local businesses and drivers. Louis spends time with several outfits as they patrol their turf and gets to know the rich and glamorous Area Boy leader MC, who has now become a friend of the most powerful men in the city. On the side of the law, Louis rides with KAI, the government's paramilitary task force, as they storm different city districts. With bulldozers and arrest warrants, KAI use their own strong-arm tactics, and are in their way as feared as the Area Boys.