Rather than a mystery per se, this is the analysis of Steve Rowe, ex GI, writer, companioned by loneliness, who finds haven with Al Rolland, theatrical agent, onetime sadist and rat, but also a fellow traveler in an empty world. Steve's rootlessness is further intensified by his bondage to the memory of his dead pal, Jeff, and his casual connection with Rolland forms a perfect frame for him when Rolland's partner, slimy Sherman, is killed. Steve is shaken out of his self destructive attitude by having to hide out from the police, by hardhitting Deborah's clinically offered help, and- in tracking down the motives and suspects in the crime, finds out more about himself than he does about the killing. But with its solution he gets a chance to untangle his own troubles. Sharp, scandal angles on ""show biz"" accompany tough, sometimes unpalatable manhunting.... Double market in mystery section.