Some secrets age well, others tend to fester. Art Hardin, a private investigator and retired counterintelligence officer, is a man of many secrets. One of these secrets has fallen into the hands of a local TV muckraker, which can cause enough trouble to keep most noir detectives busy for three hundred pages—Art's not that lucky. Just after Art locks horns with the journalist, his wife, Wendy, takes him to the airport to pick up a young friend returning from a Caribbean vacation. Karen Smith deplanes with a fabulous tan, a new beau, and a suitcase full of money; Karen doesn't know about the money, but her new Middle Eastern boyfriend does. Using a Canadian passport to enter the US, he put the money in Karen's suitcase so he wouldn't have to carry it through customs. After a donnybrook and a shootout at Karen's house, the money disappears. Lots of people want it. Some of them kidnap Karen, some of them set off a bomb at the TV station while Art is on the air with the muckraker. After that, things get nasty.