Dan Malloy is a big man in Phelpsburg. He's a political boss in the poor part of the city, under the bluff in The Valley. If you need a favor, he's the man to see, and if you want to win the general election, you'd better have him on your side. He's feeling a bit old and tired, but he's still got what it takes to win.
This time around, the group that wants his support has promised him a lot for The Valley: parks, swimming pools, new houses with yards. As the old saying goes, if it sounds to good to be true, it is, but it takes Dan a while to catch on. The trouble starts with a hit-and-run accident that kills a crippled newsie. The single witness to the crime is killed. The cop who took the witness' statement changes his report, giving an entirely different description of the car involved. Just as Dan is about to get a confession from him, the cop is killed.
Any paperback fan is going to know what's going on long before Dan does, but Keene's vigorous prose carries things right along, and there's some very good stuff about Dan that proves how much he cares for the people in The Valley. This one's a fast, tough ride that might not be in the Gold Medal class but that comes close enough for some good reading.