"Are you just going to stand there," Sharon asked the vice cop, "or do you want to join in the game?" It was in the line of duty, Matt kept telling himself as he played at love with the wild teenager. Just enough to gain her confidence - and an invitation to the orgies at the big house. But in the end, Matt was far more deeply involved with Sharon than a cop had any right to be. When the wild party began, it was too late to prevent a murder. And the vice cop was marked for victim number two.
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As a town, St. Cecilia was anything but saintly - prostitution, dope, gambling, the works. Matt Rudd of the Vice Squad had the lurid inside story. But he was helpless as long as crooked politicos like Nick Bartkowiak and his right-hand goon, Little Artie Nowack, kept the Police Commissioner under their thumb. Then the strangling of one of Little Artie's call girls raised a few eyebrows, especially Rudd's.
One surprise deserves another. "Think you'll need any help, Sergeant?" Lieutenant Wynn asked Matt Rudd. "I don't think so, sir," Rudd said. "Kuzniki is a dangerous, but he doesn't know I'm here." "O.K.," Wynn said. "I'm going to lunch."With his back to the door, Rudd hadn't seen Kuzniki enter the hotel lobby. As he turned around, Kuzniki's hand darted to a shoulder holster and he swept out a .38 automatic. Rudd froze in position, then slowly raised his hands."You must be slowing down, Matt," Kuzniki said.