Max Rudder was a professor until the day the dean summoned him and announced that: “enrollments were down.” Max found himself out on street after thirteen years. His wife, not being thrilled with his unemployment, decides to relocate herself and the children to her parents’ house across the country. In his despair, Max gets the idea he can be a detective. He has a friend who runs a detective agency and he convinces the friend to take him on as a combination apprentice and gofer. On his first day on the job, Max ends up shooting someone to death. A few days later he has to shoot someone else dead.
One of the men he shot worked for a crime boss. The crime boss was so impressed with Max’s aptitude for killing, he offers Max the job to replace the employee he killed. There was no right of refusal. Max shows real ability in his new job. In a series of escapades, Max rises through the crime hierarchy. As his power grows, he realizes that he can use some of this power to do some good in the world. He starts an unorthodox program to help abused women and drug addicts. He fights back against blackmailers. His good deeds are recognized by the city power brokers. They back him for a political appointment in the city. Max walks the line between legal and illegal. The book dramatizes how good and evil (yin and yang) can exist side-by-side in a life experience. The protagonist, Max, seizes power in both halves (crime and government) and fights to maintain control against his enemies.