Eliot Arnold is a mild-mannered ad-man and former reporter living in Miami. His business is going under and his teenage son Matt thinks he is a "dork."
One night, Eliot is called to the Cocoa Beach home of business executive Arthur Herk, where his son has been in a fight with Herk's wife because he arrived at the house intending to play-out a game called "Killer," which involves stalking a target with a squirt-gun. Matt's target is Jenny, Herk's stepdaughter and object of Matt's puppy-love affections. Meeting Herk's wife, Eliot immediately falls in love, but everyone is distracted by the fact that someone has just fired a rifle through Herk's living-room window, which is what led to the melee between Matt and Herk's wife.
What nobody knows is that Herk's employer, Penultimate, Inc., a Miami-based construction company and anti-Castro Cuban Mafia front, have discovered that he is skimming bribe-money and import a pair of hitmen named Henry and Leonard to kill him.
When Henry and Leonard fire into his living-room, Herk rushes to the Jolly Jackal, a seedy bar that is the cover for a Russian weapons-dealing operation, the suppliers for Penultimate's war on Castro. Intending to go to the feds for protection, Herk buys a working nuclear bomb, but is intercepted leaving the bar by a pair of small-time losers named Snake and Eddie, who believe him to be drug kingpin.
Returning to Herk's house, Snake and Eddie rob him, kidnap Jenny, and proceed to the airport, where they intend to go to the Bahamas.
The book now becomes a multi-player race, as Eliot, Mrs. Herk, a pair of violent FBI agents, and a couple of Miami cops all converge on the airport, where Snake and Eddie have already activated the bomb...
This report prepared by James Craver