Easy Rawlins has taken a job as head custodian in a Los Angeles school. A black teacher asks him to take care of her dog, because she is having trouble with her husband. When her husband's twin brother turns up dead on school property, Easy tries to find out what happened, only to discover that her husband has been shot as well and the teacher has disappeared. The police suspect that he is involved, and he feels that he must find out what really happened to protect himself. The teacher gets in touch with him, but she gets killed while trying to recover some things she left with a girl friend.
Easy discovers that one of the twins had been involved with heroin smuggling, and that the girl friend was involved. The last shipment of drugs is missing, and the gangster for whom it was intended is threatening to kill her. Easy decides to try to return the drugs in order to appease the gangster. In the process his best friend is shot, but Easy manages to solve the murders.
This report prepared by Jack Goodstein