The year is 1988, and the Bronx and reporter Matt Brady are at a crossroads. Matt is trying hard to get out of both his native borough and the dead-end job he’s stuck in, writing for a weekly newspaper. When he is sent to cover what he thinks will be just another fatal shooting in the murder-plagued city, he is as surprised as the detectives on the scene to find out he knows the corpse.
As the crack epidemic, “white flight” and other transformative realities of the late Eighties grip New York City, neighborhoods in the more stable parts of the Bronx fight for survival, and working-class residents either dig in or pick up their stakes and move on. Covering everything from the mundane to the mayhem in blue-collar communities including the one where he was born, raised and has now returned to, Matt is desperately looking for the story that will be his ticket out, and will help him break free from the clutches of family, friends and neighborhood ties.
Reaching out to people he grew up with, many who chose the paths of cop or criminal — divided by their career choice, but forever bound by their shared pasts — Matt digs beyond what the police are telling him about the murder of McDuff, an enigmatic local legend turned career criminal. And what seemed like the story that could finally help Matt break away from his past and get out of the Bronx only proves to suck him in deeper and deeper, until his own life is on the line.