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In Art and Beauty, tension builds quickly between private investigator, Jon Dak, and Greg and Elaine Sutton, married owners of a top Manhattan fashion modeling agency, and a prestigious SoHo art gallery. 

The scene is 1980s New York. Times are tough in the glamourous but crime-ridden Big Apple. Between jobs, restless Dak takes a stand-in role as a plain clothes security guard at Elaine Sutton’s gallery, where he maneuvers around the high-class, etiquette-driven patrons of this affluent, condescending world. 

Characteristically, the Suttons dismiss the detective as a blunt instrument; someone to out-smart and buy off in a well-financed bid for physical protection and snooping. Indeed, each family member wants to employ him for specific reasons: the big-shot husband, to protect his drool-for mistress from an unknown psycho’s threats; the anxious wife, to prove her husband is cheating; the deeply perceptive, Harvard-bound, teenaged son, to fix his parents’ problems.

Inadvertently lured into a hive of family troubles, Dak’s initial friendliness toward these engaging people is sorely tested when the father’s ex-model girlfriend is found dead in harbor-front waters off Battery Park, and a cop with a rogue background is assigned to her case.