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After San Francisco newspaper reporter Kathy Ferguson helps two Los Angeles homicide detectives, Capt. Charles Alidos and Lt. Bill Doyle, capture a woman who has killed her husband and fled to San Francisco, her coverage of the event brings her an excellent offer from a New York newspaper. She declines it, however, as she and Bill have fallen in love and she relocates to Los Angeles, where they marry and move into Bill's San Fernando Valley house. Kathy quickly becomes bored with her role as a housewife and begins to view the regular card games with Bill's colleagues and the inane conversation of their vacuous wives as a form of torture and comes to despise their mediocrity. Although Kathy is anxious for Bill to advance in the police department, he lacks ambition, so Kathy decides to elevate their social circle within the department by contriving a meeting with Alice Pope, wife of the all-powerful Inspector Tony Pope. After Kathy persuades Alice to let her organize a surprise birthday party for Tony, she drives a wedge between Tony and Alidos when he and his wife Sara miss the successful event, due to Kathy not inviting them. Later, Kathy visits Tony in his office and begins to insinuate herself into his life. In a calculated move, Kathy persuades Bill to leave the LAPD and join the Beverly Hills force, although he will lose his seniority. Tony refuses Bill's resignation, however, and informs him that he is planning to make changes within the division. As Kathy believes that Alidos is impeding Bill's promotion, she claims that Sara is gossiping about her and Tony, causing Bill to go to police headquarters and beat up Alidos. Neither Bill nor Alidos choose to involve Tony in their dispute, but he has to resolve it nevertheless and eventually transfers Alidos to another division and promotes Bill to acting captain. One night, when Bill is out of town, Tony comes to tell Kathy that Alice has been hospitalized, in need of complete rest, as she can no longer stand the tensions and pressures of his job. Tony is contemplating retirement and Kathy seizes the opportunity to suggest that Bill might replace him. Tony grabs Kathy and they embrace. Later, when Kathy finds out that the Popes are moving to Honolulu, she insists upon meeting Tony and learns from him that he regards their very brief affair as having ended. Tony also tells her that he has decided not to nominate Bill for his job, as he thinks Bill is "not good enough," and plans to retransfer and promote Alidos. Bill and Kathy's marriage begins to crumble as a result of her obsession to see him promoted. One night, while waiting for Bill at police headquarters, Kathy steals a gun from the evidence desk and goes to Tony's house, where she begs for Bill to be promoted, as she needs to justify her adultery somehow. After Tony tells her that he has always seen through her scheming ways, a distraught Kathy shoots and kills him. When the murder is discovered, Bill is appointed to take charge of the investigation. After Bill discovers that the gun, which was used in another killing, is missing and realizes that Kathy had the opportunity to take it, he returns home and confronts her. Kathy admits everything and, ever ambitious for Bill, tells him that as he is now a "good enough cop" to have solved his boss's murder, he can advance within the department. Bill tells her that he is the "same cop" he always was and, resignedly, drives her to police headquarters where he books her for questioning in the killing.