Disillusioned with both the legal system and his private life, criminal attorney Ben Kincaid decides to abandon his law practice for a less-stressful pastime: playing with a combo at Uncle Earl's Jazz Emporium. Compared to litigation, the musician's life is bliss - until a corpse crashes through the ceiling on the night of the club's swanky anniversary gala. The body is that of "Cajun Lily" Campbell, legendary singer and onetime girlfriend of club owner Earl Bonner. The cops are convinced that Bonner killed her - and Kincaid knows he didn't. The trouble is, there's some pretty damning evidence, including the fact that Bonner did time for killing a man. A man who died with a grisly smile carved on his face. Just like Lily. Kincaid swore he was through with law forever, and now he finds himself spiraling down into an underworld of gangs, drugs, Internet sex "clubs, " and long-standing vendettas. At the very bottom of the spiral is the killer - and it looks like Ben Kincaid has been pegged as the next to die with a smile on his face.