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A tough and unsavory story of the sordid graft behind the scenes, the cruelty, baseness, degeneracy of the New York police, and specifically the story of one John Guss, social worker before the war, and of how the economic pressure and general frustration of his profession persuaded him to leave it for the police force and higher pay on his discharge. During one leave Guss had returned to the Italian slums where he had worked, and hunted up Christine, who had an odd fascination for him. She's pledged to Tony, who is overseas, but Guss represented a dream world to her, and she yielded to him- and later bore his child. Her family turned against her; Tony's family and the neighbors snickered but withheld the news from him. And when he returned, still in love with her and she with him, the humiliation of what had happened was magnified to make marriage impossible. Meantime Guss, now a policeman on his old beat in this new guise, begins to persecute Chris, torture her, force her into prostitution, until he can run her in and get his cut both ways. His own marriage is on the rocks of his degeneration. He has betrayed every spark of decency he had had. And Chris, attempting escape, finds death the only answer. A grim picture of the aftermath of war for those who come back to a ""world full of strangers"". So unrelieved in its sordidness, that it lacks the ring of authenticity, the thread of hope that made Knock on any Door so memorable.

Pub Date: July 7th, 1949
Publisher: Doubleday