A first novel has a rags industry background which comes alive with uncomfortable authority. So do those involved with Leonard Weiler, owner of a successfull cheap dress operation, notably his wife, daughter and mistress. While Leonard has stopped running, he hasn't taken time out to realize that money (the golden hammer) buys very little and often numbs and nullifies. Helen, his wife, has been moved to larger apartments with smaller kitchens, and she is lonely and bored. Barbara, their only daughter, has nothing to want; Leonard gives her a Cadillac along with the college of her choice. And Leonard has always had transient girls until Lisa Holloway-Lisa with a past she can never quite escape for whom Leonard ""fills and prolongs a terrible need"". The unhappy continuity of events here comes to an end without a resolution with Barbara's death, and with the illness which may, or may not, return Leonard to his wife....While the author hasn't spent too much time on her characters, and conservative readers won't waste much sympathy, still the story itself has a momentum which few will question, much of it due to the sharpness of the dialogue.