When Payton Sherwood takes a wrong turn on a side street, he stumbles into trouble in the form of three bull-necked heavies and a tough sixteen-year-old runaway named Gloria Manlow. After taking a savage beating, Payton is robbed of his Rolex watch and left bleeding on the sidewalk. Following clues both hot and cold, Payton winds his way through Alphabet City - in and out of trendy after-hour dives, across barrio tenements and vacant lots where the homeless camp, and finally on a descent into a nightclub in a defunct church - the Hellhole. Here, the shadows that frighten aren't those that shade the street, but rather the soul. Payton's dusk-to-dawn nightmare on the wild side is about to begin - and nothing will stop it but death.