Chicago policeman Jimmy Flannery, the party leaders have let him know, in their own wonderfully arcane way, that he's being anointed as committeeman for the mayor's ward. Since that job will be a springboard to the city council, new friends and old enemies begin to spring up everywhere he turns. One of his new friends is rich, connected, and sexy Maggie Lundatos, the soon-to-be-ex wife of a crooked congressman who's doing time at Club Fed, but Jimmy is unnerved by what she might want in return for her support. In need of trusted advisors, he turns to a lesbian, a socialist, and a former cop who has gone from Milton to Mabel--hardly a traditional campaign team in a neighborhood like Hizzoner's Bridgeport. When Mabel is killed while saving Jimmy from a drive-by shooting and he finds himself battling book banners, Jimmy once again has to balance his principles against his political instincts.