Moe is married and has a baby girl as well as a ton of guilt for not telling his wife everything about her father and the truth about her brother's disappearance. His knee still aches and while he may be the only Jewish licensed P.I. in New York City, he hasn't used his license once since that case. Instead, the wine shop in which he is a partner with his brother has opened and he spends his days advising customers and trying to reconcile his past.
That is until, by all appearances, a homeless man appears in the shop. He carries with him some of Moe Prager's press clippings as a result of a missing child case covered in the first book as well as the missing person case of three years ago. Moe repeatedly tells the man that he can't help him and the man begs for help anyway. The man explains he is Arthur Rosen, and he wants help for his sister, Karen Rosen, who Moe allegedly went to school with years ago.
The name doesn't ring any bells and still doesn't when R. B. Carter shows up in his limo and tries to convince Moe to stay uninvolved. She, along with many others, allegedly died in a famous fire at a resort up in the Catskills years ago and R. B. Carter doesn't want the case looked into by Moe for any reason. He paints a picture of Arthur being insane with grief and delusional and then gets out his checkbook and tries to buy Moe off. Insulted and bored with his working life, Moe begins to dig into the case. Before long, he is further motivated to keep digging by guilt over the sudden suicide of her brother as well as the fact that he finally remembers how he loved her from afar those years ago. Getting free from his wine shop obligations as Christmas approaches in 1981, he makes a pilgrimage deep into the Catskill Mountains to see for himself where she died. Once there, guilt won't let him leave and he begin to realize the sheer depravity of some outcasts from society. As Moe works the case and realizes who the killer was, he finds new evidence that makes him wonder if Karen Rosen is really dead or just living a lie as he is?
This report prepared by Kevin R. Tipple