Private eye Joe Kozmarski has just been asked to clear his childhood friend Bob Piedras of murder. Bob's latest girlfriend, a young Vietnamese American beauty, has turned up dead in an airport hotel. No one is very surprised; she had a taste for hard liquor, drugs, and stripping in front of a camera. And Bob has a history of violence. But Bob's boss, retired judge Peter Rifkin, is convinced Bob is innocent and thinks Joe is the one to find the real killer. But Joe's life is complicated....
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Greg Samuelson, an unassuming bookkeeper, hired Joe Kozmarski to dig up dirt on his wife and her lover, Eric Stone. But now Samuelson has taken matters into his own hands. It looks like he's torched Stone's Mercedes, killed his boss, and then shot himself, all in the space of an hour. The police think they know how to put together this ugly puzzle. But as Kozmarski discovers, nothing's ever simple.
Working late-night surveillance at a luxury condominium development in a city world famous for corruption, Chicago private detective Joe Kozmarski encounters a burglary crew. Two of the crew members show up in a police cruiser. In the chaos that follows, Kozmarski shoots and kills a thief, who is also one of Chicago's finest. Kozmarski is in for many a bad night's sleep.