August 6th, 1998: Moe Prager, a former cop, waits to call his daughter for her 18th birthday. In the midst of an ugly family meltdown, Prager is desperate to find a way to make sense of what has caused his once-happy family to implode. As he waits, however, it is Prager who receives a call that might not only solve a case that has haunted him and his wife for twenty years, but might also supply the glue to patch his family back together.
December 8th, 1977: Patrick Maloney, a supposedly popular college student, walks out of a Manhattan nightspot into oblivion. Its no wonder Maloneys disappearance barely registers on the radar screen. Son of Sam strikes. Elvis is dead. Its the Sex Pistols vs. the BeeGees, Studio 54 and the Dirt Lounge, est and yin/yang, gas shortages, Quaaludes, pot and polyester, Platos Retreat, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the neutron bomb.
Moe Prager, a cop forced into early retirement by injury, certainly hadnt noticed Patrick Maloneys disappearance. But when Pragers ex-partner calls with an offer to work on the case, Moe, wracked with self-doubt over his undistinguished career, signs on.
As Prager traces Patrick Maloneys steps from his upstate home to his college dorm on Long Island, from the Tribeca bar where he was last seen to an old flames mansion on the Gold Coast, Moe realizes that nothing about the case, especially the details of the missing mans life, is as it seems. Even the picture his parents gave the police was two years out of date. Why? What could his parents be hiding? What tortured secrets might have driven Patrick to create a public persona so different from his true self?
Questions multiply as Prager searches for Patrick in New Yorks notorious punk underground, gay clubs and biker bars. Will Moes blossoming relationship with Patricks older sister help to bring Maloney back home or will it help to destroy any progress in the case? Can Moe overcome the roadblocks thrown in his path by dirty cops, corrupt politicians, and an ambitious reporter? And who are the truly ominous forces working behind the scenes to pull Prager into the very private hell of the Maloney family? Is Moe Prager running in circles or simply walking the perfect square?