Trumble is a minimum security federal prison, home to relatively harmless criminals – bank robbers, drug dealers, swindlers, tax evaders and three former judges who call themselves The Brethren. They meet each day in the library where they handle cases for other inmates, practise law without license, and sometimes dispense jailhouse justice. And they spend hours writing letters. Money is pouring in. Until they come against a powerful man outside, a man with dangerous friends. For the Brethren – the quiet days are over.