New York City Police Detective Lieutenant Megan Donahay is facing a most difficult investigation. After two men die from snake bites she's unable to determine the species of snake. Hearing of a similar death of a man in Florida she believes the three deaths may be connected. She's concerned. Is there one killer with one snake, or two or even three killers with other snakes? The venom chemistries are identical but unknown to medical professionals, herpetologists or the world of dealers in illegally imported exotic species. She finds that the three victims served in Vietnam in a military patrol. Her search for other members of the patrol is blocked by military authorities. However she discovers who they are and that three of the eight-man patrol have died before the recent murders. There are now two suspects—she must find the owner of the deadly snake before it's allowed to kill again.