Into the life of Jay Green, a struggling painter, come an attractive young couple, Walter and Norma Kappel. Years ago the Kappels knew a famous painter, Max Fuchs, who had painted Norma. This painting was to be the first of a startlingly erotic series, "Norma in Peril", which was never completed because Max disappeared and is presumed to be dead. Jay becomes entangled with the Kappels, who want him to forge the remainder of the series, which should be worth millions. He resists initially, but then reluctantly and under financial pressure, he agrees, forges the series and becomes the seductive Norma's lover. Max Fuchs reappears and murderous consequences follow.
Erotic and fast-paced the story moves from the mean streets of Philadelphia to the high stakes world of the contemporary art scene.