In the small town of Brentwood, New Jersey lives an unassuming man known as Pete Lund, nicknamed the Swede. Only having lived in Brentwood for a year, not many in town know his background. Two thugs arrive in town stating openly that they are going to kill the Swede. Upon hearing the news, the Swede gives up, saying that he can no longer keep running. Following the murder of the Swede, John Reardon investigates on behalf of the insurance company in which the Swede had a small life insurance policy. In finding and speaking to people connected to the Swede's past, Reardon learns that he was an ex-boxer really named Ole Andersen. His murder seems to be connected to a woman by the name of Kitty Collins, who the Swede loved and would do anything for and who had criminal associates. When Reardon connects the Swede to an unsolved robbery from six years earlier which in turn is connected to the Swede's murder, Reardon, against the wishes of his superior, decides to try and retrieve the moneys from the robbery and in turn catch the killers. He has the assistance of Lieutenant Sam Lubinsky, an old friend of the Swede's. To find the money, Reardon has to find Kitty Collins, who seems to be the person in the middle of everything.