The rag shop is New York City's Ninth Precinct, more easily identifiable as the East Village where Celia Atherton, a burnt out moth (drugs) is savagely knifed. Precinct Detective Moody handles the case -- which is to say that he permits the evidence to reach him (via her crude successful husband and the ""spic gutter rat"" she'd adopted back in San Juan) some two months later. . . . Except for the bad scene, won't keep you on pins -- or needles.