Matt Scudder - former cop and alcoholic - has had enough. He plans to wind up his investigations and concentrate on his AA meetings and his lovely wife, Elaine. But he agrees to take one last case. Louise, a single woman, has finally met a man she likes - but she fears he's keeping something from her. She hires Matt to check him out. Meanwhile, Elaine's best friend, Monica, also has a secret lover. But Monica is more street-wise than Louise; to her it's just a game, one she's sure she can win. But before Matt can track down the identity of Louise's lover, Monica is found murdered in her apartment.