Ever-likable, dependable Frank Hastings, SFPD homicide detective, bumps into beautiful Meredith Powell, whom he hasn't seen in 25 years, buys her lunch, and learns that she's involved with a man who scares her. Hastings wants to help her--but the next time he sees her she's a battered corpse in Golden Gate Park. Her neighbor, teenager Lee Persse, thought something was odd when Meredith's car was garaged but she was never seen entering her apartment, though a strange man left it. Hastings' followup leads him to the owner of Meredith's apartment--rich art nabob Edwin Corwin--who's also famous for his at-home orgies attended by Meredith and Charles, a conceptual artist. Another woman dies; Charles threatens Edwin with some extra-disciplinary S&M; a tape-recording surfaces; Edwin commits suicide; and Hastings mops up--which includes berating Meredith's sexually abusive father at her graveside. A typical Wilcox outing--solid, professional, non-gimmicky, with sturdy detective work winning the day.