In a chilly novel of suspense, a strange inheritance leads to danger. The day after his 18th birthday, Ray is given $30,000 and sworn to secrecy by Uncle Ed, a mysterious figure who has been in Ray's imagination, the father he has never known. The next day, Uncle Ed falls to his death from his hotel window. An ominous stranger contacts Ray, claiming the money. Plunged into a morass of fear and danger, Ray seeks the truth. Did his uncle commit suicide, or was he killed? Which of the mysterious strangers pursuing him are to be trusted? Meanwhile, he discovers that both his father and his uncle were gamblers and thieves, ""skeleton men."" After a woman who has befriended him is killed, Ray decides to return the money. When this decision puts his own life in danger, he is rescued by yet another shadowy figure. This fast-paced, grim and suspenseful story is told in cold, stark prose, reminiscent of hard-boiled detective novels. But the mood is so detached that it's hard to care much about the characters. For hard-core suspense fans only.