In In the Line of Fire, Clint Eastwood played a Secret Service agent who ran out of breath while running along side the Presidents motorcade. In Space Cowboys, he and a handful of his compadres played geriatric astronauts who showed the young hot shots a thing or two on a vital rescue mission. Rather than find his age a hindrance, Mr Eastwood seems to be choosing stories in which he can use it to his benefit. In Blood Work, his 23rd film as director, the man who was Dirty Harry, Bronco Billy, The Man With No Name and the rest, slows his character down a little more and its essential to the plot.
Terry McCaleb (Eastwood) is an FBI agent who collapses with a heart attack while he is chasing a murder suspect. Two years later, with his police-work days behind him (he thinks), McCaleb, the recipient of a new heart, is living the quiet life on a boat at a marina. Bonnie Fox (Anjelica Huston), his cardiologist, tries to see to it that he sticks to a healthier, quieter regime she has prescribed for him and, it seems, she is succeeding. Until the day Graciela Rivers (Wanda De Jesus) comes on board. Graciela is the sister of the murdered girl whose heart keeps McCaleb going and she wants him to use his profiling skills and his police contacts to solve the case. After some hesitation, he relents, making himself unpopular with his doctor and cops like Waller and Arango (Dylan Walsh and Paul Rodriguez) who have not been able to break the case. He gets some help from friendly detective, Jaye Winton (Tina Lifford), and, in recognition of his condition he enlists his neighbour, Buddy Noone (Jeff Daniels) to be his driver while he searches LA. Buddy also supplies the movie with a sense of humour.
Before his ticker took him out of action, McCaleb was tracking someone known as the Code Killer who taunted him with a series of clues. A few new leads in this case and a message scrawled on a mirror - Catch me, McCaleb - hint that there is a connection and that the killer has a special interest in McCaleb.