Someone is kidnapping the youths of a ""golden suburb"" called Greenport, Conn. They are disappearing from the streets and yards and the church loft and the Glee Club bus. Suddenly ""the Piper"" is using sophisticated broadcasting equipment to cut into local TV reception and make his demand for an ""ultimate ransom"" to be announced later. Then choice bits of horror and screaming are broadcast accompanied by choir singing and Cole Porter. The Piper is Kip Grolier (who likes to roast live hamsters in metal tins), and he's aided by fellow student K.K. (King Kong), a frail kid widely despised by his classmates (he adores his pet rats). The townsfolk assume the ransom will be money. Then police chief Hamish's son Russel is snatched, and little boxes holding his fingers and toes and strips of chest and leg skin are received by the cop. There are few secrets kept from the reader, excepting where did the bus with the vanished Glee Club go? (Well, it got repainted and the club is now deep in a secret cistern.) What's the ransom? Just as a hint, the parents must as a group perform an act as vile as the Piper's and so prove how deeply they love their kids--or all the children will be allowed to suffocate in the cistern. An asinine avalanche of ghastliness (including K.K. being crucified and eaten alive by his rats) that has all the redeeming value of a snuff movie.