Multimedia conglomerate Global Entertainment has purchased the Chicago Herald-Star, forcing the paper's staff to scramble for new jobs. Reporter Murray Ryerson, V.I. Warshawski's long-time friend, lands a plum job as host of a Global network television show. On her way home from a party in honor of Murray's success, V.I. stops to help a woman lying in the street. Her Good Samaritan act sends her straight into a case that exposes dark hidden truths behind the razzle-dazzle of the entertainment industry. And suddenly, V.I. finds herself playing a game that she can only win by staying alive.