A beautiful young Japanese widow, whose husband was killed in Vietnam, is raped and murdered by a psycho. Friday and Gannon investigate, and the usually stoic Friday is having difficulty coping with this particular case. The brutality of the murder, the innocence of the victim, and the fact that the victim left a lovely young daughter behind, make it almost unbearable to deal with. His fellow officers, including Gannon, notice this. A church group of some kind is the home of the killer, and the woman who runs the home, the killer's aunt, is defending him and castigating the investigating officers, calling them "the devil's disciples". She has given herself multiple grand titles, as if she is God's second in command.
Friday gets a hold of himself, but as he said in a narration in one scene, when an officer's knees start to buckle, he's been on the job too long.