On Narcotics detail, Joe Friday has to track down a burglar who steals drugs from hospitals.
At the hospital pharmacy, the nurse explains normal procedure, and her routine when cocaine and morphine as stolen. Who else may have had access to the inventory. What makes a person get addicted, and live such an empty lifestyle?
Back at the police station, an addict have been picked up, and have drugs with the hospital serial numbers on them. Will the pusher turn in his connection? It could be a hard stretch for him if he goes it alone on his charges.
An actor in a theatrical production is implicated. Joe Friday and Ben Romero visit Leonard Castle on the set as shots are lined up. Action on the sound stage punctuates the interview of the actor. Will the trained actor show signs of guilt? Will his story hold water?
The pressure is on to blast holes in the actors storyy. Little by little the false front crumbles. Mundane police procedure, and drug culture slang fill in details in the crime scene of the day.