The setting is St. Louis, but there are some subtle differences. East St. Louis is closer in size to St. Louis in population. The difference in prosperity is abundantly clear. Downtown St. Louis is composed of new construction and well maintained older buildings and East St. Louis populated by a sprawling grid of crumbling brick and concrete. Both are crowded, bustling centers of activity but the feel is vastly different. The land East of the Mississippi is vicious, violent and unforgiving. The denizens are ever on edge, and there is a predatory nature to them. West of the Mississippi, the cosmopolitan citizenry moves to a fast-paced productive rhythm, on to the next business meeting, consumed by their daily routine. There’s an air of detached civility to St. Louis city in the daylight, people passing by one another as if in their own world. Blissfully oblivious to the downtrodden lurking just outside the view of the authorities that ensure appearances are maintained.