New York City 1950
The first Marlowe Black Mystery.
When Marlowe discovers a stranger's mangled body in his office after a long 4th of July weekend, he ignores the advice of New York cops and sets out to learn who the man is and why his body was left in his office.
He becomes involved with two New York families seeking stolen gold Russian coins worth millions. The patriarch of one family was a Nazi banker during the war. The banker’s daughter seeks Marlowe’s help finding the coins, which inadvertently leads him on a hunt for SS Chief Heinrich Himmler’s missing silver Death’s Head belt buckle.
Marlowe works around restrictive Federal agents seeking to control his efforts to locate the mysterious silver belt buckle that he subsequently learns contains a deadly secret. He kills several fugitive Nazi SS willing to kill him and anyone else to keep them from getting the buckle first.
Before he finds the answers, Marlowe makes a heart-wrenching discovery, and wrestles with a decision to adhere to personal principles that reach beyond love and death while he blurs the limits of justice. Answers that will haunt him far into the future.