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A rash of murders is terrorizing Manhattan. The victims have several things in common- they are all young women who lived in older West Side apartments without doormen. Each has been killed by a clean puncture wound through the heart, as if there had been no struggle. In each victim's apartment two glasses of soda are fizzing away, as if the woman let the murderer into her apartment trustingly. And the murderer has left a ghoulish touch: a gaily painted papier-mache gondola artfully placed next to the head of each corpse.
Laura Barnett is a beautiful young professional woman living in Manhattan - on the upper West Side. at first she's not overly concerned when she starts getting anonymous gifts in the mail. But as the gifts get more & more personal- and more and more threatening - her curiosity turns into horror.
Detective Karlov is in charge of finding the murderer. The killer seems to be a highly professional psychopath; it seems he has left no traceable clues. The victims appear to have known him, but they have no friends in common. As one woman after the other is killed, in the same efficient manner, he fears he is on the trail of someone uncatchable.