Chicago 1922 — Chicago Tribune reporter, Garland Hopkins, is a high-ender from his brown derby down to his cap-toe Oxfords. And he’s clever as a fox covering the news, but he has a weakness, the wicked women and jazz down on The Stroll, South State Street’s famous strip of clubs.
When Esther Allen, the caramel-skinned, mixed-race beauty, who works The Stroll as a gossip girl and legman reporter for a jazz news weekly, smiles and purrs at Garland to learn his next move, she ends up in the dangerous tenements of gangster-controlled Little Italy. Esther’s in the wrong place at the wrong time. Esther’s gone.
A fire-haired Scottish woman and speakeasy owner who’d bite the horns off Lucifer himself, an impossibly brilliant secretary and a flat-faced ex-cop help Garland go up against Little Italy’s ruthless criminals, flesh-peddlers and traffickers in a race against time.