Ireland 1941. A crowded pub. The music is loud. The singing is louder. Joe McCarthy is shot dead. And no one sees a thing.
His brother-in-law Eamon Foley and Garda Sergeant Liam Edge are the first on the scene. And Foley is horrified when he thinks he sees a face from his past in the crowd.
One year ago Foley was working in a notorious backstreet hotel in Dublin when some money and a ledger went missing. The hotel’s sinister director Leo Maranus got the notion that Foley was responsible. Obviously he wanted them back.
Is Joe’s killing a message that they’ve caught up with Foley at last, and they’re coming to take back what they think he stole from them?
Foley wonders if Alex Cassidy, the very strange, very pretty girl who helped him get away from Maranus during the initial chaos, could be responsible for leading them to him now. Had her relationship with the much older Sgt Edge questioned her loyalty to Foley? She needed money. Was she willing to trade him in for a cash reward?
But Sgt Edge won’t even entertain the notion that Joe’s murder is in any way linked to Foley’s past. Joe was a notorious philanderer, involved with numerous women over the years. Edge is adamant that Joe was just a victim of some jealous husband, or rejected lover. They should be looking nearer to home.
Then Foley’s sister Mary is found dead in the town park.
And his son is taken by a nun in a car.
Desperate to get answers, Foley illegally obtains some evidence that proves who’s behind the incidents. But the crusty Sgt Edge is adamant that they will follow proper police procedure and dismisses it.
With dreadful results.