When her oldest friend, Vidal Noyes, a brilliant scientist and inventor at NASA, goes missing, Gale Blackburn suspects that he’s been kidnapped by a conspiracy headed by his supervisor, Stan Fredericks, whose unusual interest as to when Vidal would finish up his report on an invention for military use, but with civilian possibilities worth millions had made Vidal uneasy. Now would be the ideal time for a thief to steal the report, just before it’s submitted to the prototype builders. Afraid to report him missing to NASA authorities because these may be the very people who have kidnapped him, she doesn’t hesitate to revive her commando skills, part of her mysterious past, to search for him.
Gale mounts an intense land and sea search, hiring a “reformed” dope dealer to search the waters between the Cape and the Bahamas, a swamp-dwelling Indian leader to organize a search of the Everglades, and a local Orlando militia group to help her search the Florida mainland.
Once Vidal is found alive by herself and the militia men, Gale has to tackle the problem of identifying all the conspirators, and keeping Vidal, who is faking a memory loss of the whole incident, from being killed to cover up their crime. Throughout it all, Gale has to keep her lover, Derek Greene, a lawyer, from finding out that being a law-abiding citizen is the least of her concerns as she struggles to save her friend, Vidal.