New York City: from 1937 to the 1970s, the NYPD owned the streets, and the Irish owned the NYPD. Officers ruled their beat, fighting crime the way they wanted, and bending the law to take what they could. There was only one rule: look after your own. When Sergeant Brian O'Malley's prostitute lover pushed him out of a window, his friends in the police cover up the details and give him a hero's funeral. His eldest son is encouraged to join the boys in the force, but as he rises the ranks he realises that all favours must be repaid, whatever the repercussions.