This long, drawn-out tale has just enough plot twists to make it interesting. Beery is the typical Irish policeman who is the pride of the force and plays strictly by the book. His boy, Curtis, also becomes a policeman, but is more interested in getting promoted than in being a good cop.
His attitude turns off many of his fellow cops, and when he shoots a kid caught stealing, he's set up and sent to prison. Prison does not rehabilitate him, but rather makes him worse. He escapes and goes on a robbery binge. A trap is set for him at the hospital, where his son has just been born.
Setting the trap is his father, who places justice ahead of his own blood.