'With one simple act, Odalie had snared me in a trap that consisted of equal parts temptation and shame. All this before we'd ever even shaken hands or been introduced.'
New York City, 1922: it's the height of Prohibition and it seems the whole city is swimming in bathtub gin.
Rose Baker is not quite a lady, but an orphan and a young woman obliged to live in a shared room in scuzzy lodgings and work for her bread as a typist in a police precinct on the lower East Side. Every day Rose transcribes the confessions of the gangsters and murderers that pass through the precinct and while she may disapprove of the details, she prides herself on typing up the goriest of crimes without batting an eyelid. Her job is to record what will come to be known as the truth.
But then the captivating, bob-haired Odalie begins work at the station and Rose finds herself falling under the spell of the new typist. And so do her bosses, the buttoned up Lieutenant Detective and the fatherly Sergeant. As the two girls flit between the sparkling underworld of speakeasies by night, and their work at the station by day, it is not long before Rose's fascination for her new colleague turns to obsession.