Carl, young and new at the illegal courier game, is nervous as he makes a drug dropoff with sinister partner Ax and becomes involved in Ax's revenge plot against a former associate, Benny. Teenage Kerry, drawn to an abandoned old house that feeds her fantasies, stumbles onto the underground trio and is thrown into their van a terrified prisoner, presumably to be disposed of with Benny, as Ax takes off across the country. Kerry's newly widowed mother is anxious when Kerry disappears but comforted by the nice councilman who keeps her company on unpaid special assignment for the police. Kerry's friend Jeff, who's applied to be a police cadet, also works with the force to track Kerry down. Stegeman shifts from one of these viewpoints to another as the van gets further away--and as Carl comes to realize that Ax plans to kill him along with the other passengers, Benny actually is killed, and Carl and Kerry develop a true bond from a wary alliance while fleeing both Ax and the authorities. It's a routine thriller on any level, but handled with professional, adult-level competence.