A client meets with Marlowe to find a man named Kovack. It’s to ensure that nobody will stand in the way of a big budget sales deal. Why is the mousy little man so fearful? Why does he want Marlowe’s protection? It doesn’t take long for the man to end up dead. Marlowe gets the cops on the job, and takes his only clue, a key to start investigating.
At a mechanics garage, Marlowe tries to learn about Barney Kovack. Hippo has no love lost over the dead man. What does he know about a brown eyed, blonde dame? Soon Philip finds himself confronting Kovack, along with the business end of his pistol.
Getting away for now, Marlowe manages to have found Rhonda. What’s her connection to the dead man, and Barney? Keys seem to hold the clue to figure it all out, and a key sends Marlowe to his next brush with danger. Somebody is going to get roughed up, and this time it’s not Marlowe.
A standoff with the cops gets intense, but do the cops have the wrong man? Philip helps diffuse the situation, then exp0lains it all to the cops. What tipped him off? Where did the bad guys go wrong?