A chess grandmaster is in a big tournament, and when his lover is found painted up and the blood drained out of her body he becomes a chief suspect. After he gets a call from the killer urging him to try and figure out the game, he cooperates with police and a psychologist to try and catch the killer, but doubts linger about the grandmaster’s innocence as the string of grisly murders continues.
Police chief Xavier Quinn investigates the gruesome murder of Donald Pater, one of the wealthiest residents on a Caribbean island. He was found decapitated in his Jacuzzi. Although the local political establishment, especially crooked Governor Chalk, insists that small-time thief Maubee is responsible, Xavier has his doubts. This view is complicated by the police chief’s personal history with Maubee: The men have been friends since childhood.