This rich tale of drug dealing and union-busting, murder and mayhem on both sides of the law, begins when Victor Ribe, an ex-junkie and World War I veteran, is mysteriously released from prison after serving fifteen years for a murder he didn't commit. He returns to a city where Prohibition has been repealed and a dark underworld is developing a new source of profits - illegal heroin trafficking. Meanwhile, legitimate industries are launching an offensive against unionization and the specter of Communism - and they're not above fighting dirty. When Victor's old Army buddy, Freddy Stillman, a munitions salesman, reports a murder but can't explain why the body has disappeared, he unwittingly pulls himself and Victor into the bewildering swirl of corruption and conspiracy that encompasses everyone in the book's vast, raging cityscape.
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