To his customers and neighbours on 125th Street, Ray Carney is an upstanding salesman of reasonably-priced furniture, making a life for himself and his family. He and his wife Elizabeth are expecting their second child, and if her parents don't approve of him or their cramped apartment across from the subway tracks, it's still home. Few people know he descends from a line of uptown hoods and crooks, and that his façade of normality has more than a few cracks in it. Cracks that are getting bigger all the time. Cash is tight, especially with all those instalment plan sofas, so if his cousin Freddie occasionally drops off the odd ring or necklace at the furniture store, Ray doesn't see the need to ask where it comes from. He knows a jeweller downtown who also doesn't ask questions. Then Freddie falls in with a crew who plan to rob the Hotel Theresa and volunteers Ray's services as the fence.