L.A. actor/sleuth Saxon (Snake Oil, etc.) flies to Chicago, his hometown, to attend the funeral of Gavin Cassidy, a cop who moonlighted as an actor and was Saxon's mentor at the North State Street Theatre Guild. There, Gavin's former girlfriend Marian asks Saxon to investigate: Even at his alcoholic worst, she says, Gavin would never have also swallowed the amphetamines that killed him. As Saxon looks up their old gang, he quickly learns that Cassidy was recently suspended for soliciting bribes--from Saxon's own father, a political stalwart of the Fifty-fourth Ward who once went to prison for the party machine and who hasn't spoken to his son in over 20 years. Soon, Saxon and his dad are edgily making contact, and it seems that more political chicanery was at work, setting up Cassidy as the patsy to the benefit of former Guild members and the Ward. Before Saxon can return to L.A. and his adopted, black teenaged son Marvel, he must confront both his and Cassidy's past lovers (sometimes one and the same) to find the killer. Facile but oddly touching in the father-son rapprochement scenes. A semi-hardboiled trip down memory lane, then, guided by a capable old pro.