Preston Hauser, owner of a famous department store, asks his head of security, Quint McCauley, to investigate some threatening letters he has received. No sooner does Quint take on the job, than Preston is poisoned by one of his own vitamin pills. With Quint looking on. Suspicion falls on Hauser's young wife, Diana, but Quint quickly learns she's not the only one who might benefit from the millionaire's death.
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Now a private detective in the Chicago suburb of Foxport, Quint investigates the apparent suicide of a judge who had just been indicted on bribery charges. The judge's widow stands to lose a sizeable insurance policy if Quint can't prove it was murder. And she asks so nicely.
When reporter Jeff Barlowe is jailed for contempt of court for refusing to put a name to his source, he calls on his friend private detective Quint McCauley to bail him out. Working with the source, an environmental vigilante known only as the Blue Fox who is the lead suspect in the murder of local developer, Quint tries to learn who else wanted the man dead and, at the same time, maintain the Fox's anonymity.
Jubal and Brig Tanner are brothers who have been feuding for years. When Brig's young girlfriend is killed, most figure the bullet was meant for Brig and the shooter was Jubal. Jubal hires a very reluctant Quint McCauley, who finds himself mired in the horse-breeding industry as he delves into the Tanner family's darkest secrets.
Quint McCauley is a middle-aged ex-cop who is now head of security for Hauser's, a large Chicago department store.