Joey Kasow is a skinny Jewish kid growing up in the 1920s in Hell's Kitchen. Tormented by the Irish thugs in the neighborhood, he eventually gains their begrudging respect and is allowed to join their gang, the Badgers. Joey grows up tough. He knows he got to take whatever is dished out to him to stay in the gang. He learns how to inflict painhe learns how to kill. And gradually he works his way up the ladder to become the Spotter's enforcer. He is now Joey Case. But Joey can't escape his past, falling in love with innocent young Sadie Madofsky, his refuge from the brutal world around him. All Joey want is to get aheadbut the Spotter had other plans for him.