When the lovely Carol Chambers asks Atlanta detective Jack Novak to investigate the two-year-old murder of her husband, Novak is more interested in her than in solving a very cold case. Her husband, Don, was found decapitated, and the police never named a suspect. But there’s something she never told the police: apparently, Don was a B-52 pilot in Cambodia during the Vietnam War—and while overseas he came upon forbidden treasure.
Don and his crew found hundreds of precious stones in a temple guarded by a strange and sadistic Buddhist sect. The crew escaped with the stones and their lives, although several monks were murdered in the process. Carol believes the precious stones have something to do with Don’s death; in fact, she thinks the monks have returned for revenge on Don and the rest of his crew.
The case piques Novak’s curiosity, especially when Carol promises him a share in the stones if he solves the case. When things get hairy, though, Novak realizes this is no game; his life is in serious danger, and if he’s not careful, he’ll end up as another headless corpse.