Two plots thread their way through this novel of the 87th Precinct. In the first, a beautiful woman named Emma Bowles appears at the station house to report that a man has attempted to kill her. Twice.
Emma recognizes the attacker as a man who used to drive for the limo service that her husband uses. Detectives Steve Carella and Meyer Meyer go looking for the man Emma has accused only to find him shot to death and hanged, apparently for good measure, in the basement of the apartment house where he lived.
Emma's husband, a wealthy stockbroker, professes to be horrified by the attempts on his wife's life and he insists on hiring a private detective from out of town to protect his wife, even though the man who attempted to kill her is now dead. All of this seems pretty strange to Steve Carella and as he and Meyer investigate the case, it becomes even more convoluted.
Meanwhile, in a plot line carried over from the previous McBain novel, Widows, the man accused of killing Carella's father goes on trial. Against Carella's advice, his mother insists on attending the trial and the chapters detailing the trial are interspersed with the chapters describing the investigation. Both take a toll on Carella, but both are interesting and this is a very good entry in the 87th Precinct series.