In 1926, when musician Tom Hickey reads a broadside about a lynching the Los Angeles newspapers failed to report and discovers the Negro victim was an old friend, he goes to his neighbor, LAPD detective Leo Weiss. Leo confirms that, officially, the lynching didn't occur. Tom has a dance orchestra to lead and a wild younger sister to raise. Yet he decides to investigate the murder. Since the lynching occurred in Echo Park, across the street from evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson's Angelus Temple, he goes there looking for clues. There he is greeted and watched by an usher who follows him after the service and continues to shadow him daily. The investigation earns Tom beatings and gunfire meant to dissuade him. Leo, a speakeasy owner, and a Klansman all warn him that he's made formidable enemies. Among them may be infamous Police Chief Two Gun Davis, Examiner publisher and political heavyweight William Randolph Hearst, and Times owner Harry Chandler. When Tom discovers the key to the murder, it lies - as is too often the case - close to home.