Father Joseph Shanley and Detective Sergeant Sammy Golden felt a very personal interest in this case. Gil Basta had been murdered. It was not hard to find his enemies: Gil had written Manama Town, a big, five hundred page, dirty, sordid book that had immediately become a best-seller. But the novel was not a creation of Basta's imagination-the people and incidents depicted were based on reality, Father Shanley's parish and parishioners.
Unfortunately, the matter did not rest with publication of the book and Basta's murder. Carmen Montoya was found hanging from a rafter in the shed behind her house. Carmen had been prominent in Manama Town as the whore who slept with the narrator. Father Shanley heard something in the confessional that had a bearing on her death, but illness put him in bed for a few days.
Sammy, meanwhile, had flown to Phoenix to question Basta's wife. She had an alibi for the time of his death, but Sammy was sure that there was something that she was hiding from him. As he pursued the case further he found himself personally involved, and it took some brilliant deductions from Father Shanley to discover the real facts behind the deaths.