Politics motivates the mayor to have Gillespie and newcomer Tibbs investigate, together, a high-school girl's murder.
Police Chief Bill Gillespie and Chief of Detectives Virgil Tibbs are at odds when Tibbs suspects that Gillespie's friend, Sonny Mims, killed his wife because of his involvement with Pauline, the dead woman's cousin. Gillespie believes that the killing was the result of a drunken random shooter while Bubba Skinner has a more personal interest in the case since he has been dating Pauline.
Tension mounts when a black businessman is rumored to be romancing the married white owner of a newspaper.
A supply of cocaine, a double disappearance and Virgil's reluctance to forget a grudge are somehow linked together.
Virgil narrowly escapes death at the hands of Richie Epson's henchmen, but Gillespie still hasn't garnered enough evidence to prove Epson is a major drug supplier.
Howard E. Rollins Jr.
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