Marked by an abrasive attack on civic maladies and rabble rousing, this pursues Steve's quest for the truth about dead Kelleher, about to be immortalized for his part in recovering a kidnaped child. Steve, leavingg the isolation of his review columns, goes behind the front of a political machine, unlooses the stench of past misdemeanors in which Kelleher had had more than a small part, interviews those on whom his treacheries had had a lasting effect. Steve learns of Kelleher's many secret vile and vicious actions, learns too the reason for his own lasting fear and hatred of the man. His rehashing of city mishandling and his own roughing up in a current terrorization provide a crash finish for a more than detective tale. A lingo-lashed parlance, the contagion of the unfolding of the search, a survey of municipal stinks and skunks, this affords a tops in a topical suspense novel.