That night, Terry would have told me the story of his life if I'd asked him. If I had asked, and if he had told me, it might have saved a couple of lives. It might have. Terry Lennox is a drunk. Philip Marlowe, private detective, knows it's always a mistake to try to help drunks. But then, Marlowe is always on the side of losers. Perhaps that's why he decides to help Lennox get away when he's in trouble. But then the body of Sylvia Lennox is found. Marlowe can't believe that Lennox killed his wife, but the police certainly do. Suddenly, wherever Marlowe goes, whatever he does, Terry Lennox's strange life seems to follow him around.