Ballard has seventy-two hours to find out who attacked his partner, Bart Heslip, who's lying in the hospital in a coma. Now Ballard is racing around the frayed edges of Oakland and San Francisco tracing down deadbeats. A stripper, an embezzler and an ex-con all have repo'd cars in common. Do they also share a murder? The clock's ticking away like Bart's heartbeat, but Ballard is up against a dead skip, a blank wall.
Then Ballard's boss, Dan Kearny, jumps into the hunt, loving every minute of it - and hurtling them both toward the barrel of a gun ...