The corruption of Jeffrey Blaine begins on the night of his daughter's eighteenth birthday party. That so many of the city's elite have gathered to pay tribute to this man's teenage daughter is testament to his stature as one of New York's most powerful financiers. Yet Blaine himself is bored, chafing, hungry for a fresh new challenge. While the party is in full swing, an underage woman gets drunk and then is raped by one of Blaine's guests. In the confusion that follows, Blaine agrees not to call the police. His complicity is witnessed by a notorious gossip columnist - making him vulnerable to a scandal that could destroy him. Enter Chet Fiore, a young man of shadowy provenance who arrives at the party and immediately sets things in order. Where did he come from? Blaine doesn't know. But Fiore's grace under pressure commands Blaine's attention; and what he eventually learns about Fiore - that he is a rising figure in organized crime - both terrifies and energizes him.
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