What begins in this novel as two separate tales eventually twist together into one, centered on the efforts of an LA Sheriff's Deputy to capture a brutal sex murderer while serving, somewhat reluctantly, as a decoy for a set-up to expose communists in Hollywood. This young deputy, Danny Upshaw, finds himself on a ride that will force him to confront secrets he has kept his whole life, even from himself. Two other major characters, disgraced former cop, Turner Buzz Meeks, now working for both Howard Hughes and Mickey Cohen, and ambitious LAPD lieutenant Malcolm Mal Considine, involved in a bitter child custody case, try with varying success to do the right things in an environment of deception, paranoia and brutality. The story begins on New Year's Eve, as 1949 turns to 1950, and creates a vivid portrait of Los Angeles during that era, from the bebop emanating from the jazz clubs on Central Avenue to the labor union battles facing the Hollywood studios. The entire story takes place in the aftermath of the notorious Sleepy Lagoon murder case and the resultant Zoot Suit Riots, an event that roiled LA for years.