Father Dowling's old friend Captain Phil Keegan of the Fox River police (Judas Priest, etc., etc.) has no doubts about the guilt of Stacey Wilson, doing life for the murder of her rich husband. Stacey's lawyers are about to launch an appeal of the sentence, questioning the shaky evidence of a witness now dead. Meanwhile, Keegan is becoming concerned about his plain, overweight secretary Elaine McCorkle, infatuated with one Tyrone Pajakowski, a stranger who claims to be Stacey's son and turns out to be the ultimate con man. The seeming suicide of Elaine's wimpy would-be suitor, Waiter Nickles, and the death of Stacey's longtime Las Vegas lover leave the police unmoved--but bring an alert Father Dowling to make a last-minute rescue and bring to an end a burgeoning criminal career. Crisply paced, absorbing mix of the homey and the bizarre. McInerny in fine form.