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November, 1940. The son of a retired NYPD officer, John McKittrick - Kit to his friends - who has been in convalescence on an Arizona ranch after being rescued as a POW in the Spanish Civil War, he held captive and tortured for two years after the end of the war, rushes back to New York City upon reading that Police Lieutenant Louie Lepetino, his long time friend and rescuer, died one month ago in a fall out of a Park Avenue high rise apartment window. Inspector Tobin, who led the Lepetino investigation, ruled the death accidental, while Kit believes, unspoken, that Louie's death is tied somehow to his own incarceration in Spain. The "accident" apparently occurred during a party hosted by Kit's former girlfriend, Barby Taviton, she and her and Kit's mutual friends socializing with some people associated with the Refugee Committee: wheelchair-bound Norwegian historian Dr. Christian Skaas, accompanied by his nephew Otto Skaas, and Prince François de Namur. Of those at the party, no one is above suspicion including even his friends such as Barby, and his friend Ab Parker's younger nightclub singer cousin, Whitney Parker - sometimes called The Imp - as she has brought into her life a new accompanist named Anton, who Kit does not trust. Kit doesn't even trust Inspector Tobin as Kit knows the accidental death ruling is hogwash. Also on the suspect list is Toni Donne, the Prince's granddaughter, who seems to appear in Kit's life when he least expects it, and rebuffs him when he tries to get close. The issue for Kit with regard to Toni is that he is starting to fall in love with her. The further Kit gets into his own investigation of the incident, the more he isn't sure what is real or what is in his troubled imagination, especially as he begins to hear the same labored footsteps he always heard during his tortures at the POW camp, the footsteps those of someone with a limp.