Matt Scudder, former cop and alcoholic, has had enough. He plans to wind up his investigations and concentrate on AA meetings and his lovely wife, Elaine. But he agrees to take one last case. Louise, a single woman, has finally met a man she likes, but she fears he's keeping something from her and so hires Matt to check him out. But before Matt can track down the real identity of Louise's lover, a horrific murder is committed - and the only forensic evidence links the killer to Elaine. Matt is convinced that the killer is an old foe of his, a man who terrorised and murdered his way through New York until Matt stood in his way. And now he's stalking Elaine.