Plot: West Point Academy, 1830. With the lifeless body of a troubled trainee found hanging from a tree branch, grief-stricken former New York constable Augustus Landor arrives at the wintry military post. As the suspicious suicide case pulls the able crime-solver out of his profound depression, Landor embarks on a challenging, time-sensitive mission to collect clues. After all, the dead can speak. But faced with the students' impenetrable silence and blood-chilling evidence of corpse desecration, the grizzled investigator will need all the help he can get to shed light on the mysterious death. Does mournful Cadet know more than he lets on??
Alternative Plot: West Point, 1830. In the early hours of a gray winter morning, a cadet is found dead. But after the body arrives at the morgue, tragedy becomes savagery when it's discovered that the young man's heart has been skillfully removed. Fearing irreparable damage to the fledgling military academy, its leaders turn to a local detective, Augustus Landor (Christian Bale), to solve the murder. Stymied by the cadets' code of silence, Landor enlists the help of one of their own to pursue the case, an eccentric cadet with a disdain for the rigors of the military and a penchant for poetry -- a young man named Edgar Allan Poe (Harry Melling).