Chapter 1 of 3. Morningside, Illinois, 1947. The charred remains of a young couple are discovered in the ashes of a tragic house fire. The insurance company, which stands to lose a fortune, suspects foul play, but, despite all their resources, are unable to prove it. As a last resort, down on his luck private eye Mick Browning is dispatched to Morningside. He has only twenty-two hours to bust the case before payment is due on the life insurance policies. This already difficult task takes a turn for the worse when he stumbles into a small town's underworld of corrupt cops, secret gambling dens, and ruthless criminals.