What happens to all of the letters that kids send to Santa Claus through the US mail? In Detroit, Michigan, many of them end up in the hands of Chris Archer, a postal worker who spends his free time designing computer games and uses the children’s wish lists to help detect trends in the toy market.
No harm done until Chris’ brother, Nick Archer, the religiously obsessed, dishonorably discharged fighter pilot and victim of childhood abuse, discovers them and finds out who’s really been naughty and who’s been nice. Possessed of a messiah complex, Nick turns into a charming and athletic serial killer leaving a trail of devastation in two cities, Detroit and Sarasota, connected only by the commercial route he now flies for Delta.
It takes a team of oddballs to bring Nick down. On the Detroit side, there are the co-ed partners and wise-cracking lovers, Jaq McSween and David Maxwell, accompanied by their dog, Recon. On the Sarasota side, there is the Argentinian with the taste for American hot dogs, Abel Mendoza, and his partner who goes simply by Rabbit on account of his ability to hide in a crowd, create his own burrow, and investigate unnoticed. There is the lovely nurse, Rita Rose, who has been damaged by a mendacious lover before and is now caught in Nick Archer’s web in more ways than one, and her fearless higher-up, the reserved yet incisive medical examiner, Dr. Towers.
Two teams of odd-ball detectives discover the truth, but can they outmaneuver Nick's obsessive, military-trained mind and stop him in time before he kills again and someone they love dies?