Being half-Jewish half-Italian in 1950’s high school was unique for Massachusetts Medford High Schooler Michael Waxman. Both Italians and Jews shared clannish ethnic bonding from their strong sense of family and persecution as minorities. Waxman finds identity with his Jewish teenage friends through a Hebrew youth organization called the AZA while retaining his Italian upbringing lifestyle in Little Italy in South Medford. Any anti-Semitism by Italian teens is countered by Waxman’s friend and gangster classmate, Carli Santo. Surprisingly, Santo allies with Waxman and four of his Jewish friends while still nurturing his mob-like upbringing.
In parallel time, Boston Latin School honor student Edmund Sorelli lives in Italian East Boston with his blonde unwed nurse mother. Sorelli studies hard as an outlet for his sense of isolation and sense of non-family as his mother frequents bars, men and booze on Saturday nights. Rosaly Sorelli doesn’t know who Edmund’s father was and doesn’t care. She doesn’t understand her son’s anger and rage at her lifestyle and his sense of being different from his classmates. Sorelli vows to punish his mother and any girl at Boston Latin who behaves like her.
Since high school graduation, the five Medford High students who had bonded closely continue to meet on a monthly basis at the College Deli in Somerville, Massachusetts. Each member has chosen a career path in which three are still within the education process. Michael Waxman is now a third-year medical student at Boston University and shares graduate school stories and angst with his high school friend and third-year dental student, Wendell Golden. Melvin Slinger chose a legal direction and is finishing Harvard Law School.
Two of the group are already set in their adult livelihood. Carli Santo, the only non-Jew, had been in the auto-mechanical vocational high school program and apprenticed to a mob-connected chop-shop auto dealer and now has his own non-legal business. The female of the group, Deborah Sterling is a young nurse eight years out of high school still single and without romantic attachments.
Edmund Sorelli has left the Army Military Police with a trail of three murders in Europe–each victim a blonde young nurse. He laughs and scoffs at the futile efforts of the Boston Police and the FBI to profile and find him as he continues his quest to prevent women like his mother from duplicating his illegitimate-child status.
Life appears stable for all until Michael Waxman stares aghast at the projected slides of the 7th murder victim of the Boston Stocking killer during forensic pathology class. It’s Deborah Sterling. Waxman brings the news to an emergency meeting at the College Deli and from the gloom of grief comes a resolve to seek out and destroy their close friend’s murderer.
Mel Slinger uses his Harvard law school connection to obtain information about the Boston Stocking Killer while Carli Santo uses his mob connections to do the same. They set out to identify and trap Deb Sterling’s murderer ahead of the BPD and FBI who seem powerless to do so.