Fred Underhill is a young cop on the rise in Los Angeles in the early 1950s—a town blinded to its own grime by Hollywood glitter; a society nourished by newspaper lies that wants its heroes All-American and squeaky clean. A chance to lead on a possible serial killing is all it takes to fuel Underhill’s reckless ambition: it propels him into a dangerous alliance with certain mad and unstable elements of the law enforcement hierarchy. When the case implodes with disastrous consequences, it is Underhill who takes the fall. His life in ruins, his promising future wrecked—even his good and pure love for a crusading woman lawyer has been corrupted and may not survive. But even without the authority of a badge, Underhill knows that his only hope for redemption lies in following the investigation to its grim conclusion. And the hell to which he has been consigned for his sins is the perfect place to hunt for a killer who hungers but has no soul.