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After his wife, Helen, is brazenly abducted before his eyes, Agent Pendergast furiously pursues the kidnappers. But then, things go terribly, tragically wrong; the kidnappers escape; a shattered Pendergast retreats to his New York apartment and shuts out the world. But when a string of bizarre murders erupts across several Manhattan hotels, Lieutenant D'Agosta asks Pendergast for help. Reluctant at first, Pendergast soon discovers that the killings are a message from his wife's kidnappers.