When a young prostitute is found savagely murdered, tireless homicide detective Tom Spellacy and his partner Frank Crotty are tasked with finding the culprit.
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Their initial investigations lead them to Brenda Samuels, a local madam with whom Tom had worked some years previous. She tells them of a stag film the dead girl (Lois Fazenda) appeared in and after viewing the tape they successfully track down one of the other participating girls, who in turns leads them to a local film director named Standard.
It turns out that Standard died in a car crash shortly after the murder, but while that news is a setback to their investigation, the detectives soon discover various links between Brenda's prostitution ring, the dead girl and the Catholic Church. Tom's younger brother Desmond is a monsignor in the church and with his help, the investigation soon leads to Jack Amsterdam, a local construction mogul with ties to Des and the aging Cardinal.
Tom is convinced that Jack is the man they are looking for, but with both the safety of a key witness and his brother's career on the line, he is forced to make a decision about whether or not to pursue Jack for the murder.
Best part of story, including ending:
It is a well told murder mystery given added depth by the conflicted relationship between the two brothers
Best scene in story:
The final scene, when the brothers meet again some years after the events of the movie is emotionally moving
Opinion about the main character:
His tireless stubborn nature is both a blessing and a curse. He is a straightforward, hard-working detective who puts his work above all else.