Patrick Grimes is a veteran intent upon making a mark as a newspaperman in New York City in 1946. His work for the New York Examiner as a rewrite man on the graveyard shift leaves him with limited opportunity to practice his craft. His life takes a radical turn when he covers the murder of a young woman whose body is found in a slum area near the East River. An African-American worker in a nearby building is charged with the murder after first being beaten into submission by corrupt police officers. Grimes cannot leave the case alone as he wonders how and why the daughter of a wealthy New Yorker could have ended up in a slum alley. His investigation takes him into a New York of wealth, power, and corruption and his quest for both truth and justice in a world which seems to have little use for either forces him to make decisions that will transform his life.
Patrick Grimes’ traumatic experiences take us back to a time of institutionalized racism in American police departments as well as a world in which the efforts of one honest, dogged journalist could seek to balance the interests of the poor with the greed of the rich. This postwar New York City is not pretty, but it is compelling.