Tim Madden awakens from a night of drunken excess, still groggy and unable to recall anything of last night.
As the hangover clears he finds his car's passenger seat sticky with blood, a new tattoo with an old flame's name and the discovery of not one but two severed heads in the nearby woods, next to his secret marijuana stash.
Was he responsible for the murder of two women, or was the crooked police chief setting him up? Madden, a failed writer, has the story of a life time to write if he can sleuth his way through it and live. A couple of ex-cons and a pissed off homosexual, his own former cell-mate, all want him dead.
In Tough Guys Don't Dance, Mailer gives us many colorful characters, in his usual descriptive style, but don't be fooled. Through all the hard-nosed Irish and Portuguese on the streets of Cape Cod this book is worth the read for the flowing narrative language alone, and besides Madden is a tough guy, so why not give him the last dance.