Las Noches de Diciembre (The Nights of December) are a small terrorist cell led by renegade newspaper columnist Skip Wiley, a brilliant but crazed Uncle Duke-like character. Wiley believes that the only way to save Florida's Everglades from developers is to dissuade tourists from visiting and settling in Florida. Their preferred weapon of dissuasion is random attacks on tourists, using a giant crocodile called Pavlov to murder them. The novel pits private detective Brian Keyes against the Miami police force, Chamber of Commerce and other establishment figures, who desperately seek to put the lid on Wiley's antics so that tourists will continue to visit Florida. Because of this, even murder is covered up by the cops, and this ratchets up the tension, causing Skip to promise wider and more terrible destruction - focusing on the public appearances of Florida's Orange Bowl Queen. Now Brian Keyes, reporter turned private eye, must move from muckraking to rooting out murder, in a caper that mixes football players, politicians, and police with a group of fanatics and a very hungry crocodile. The book is not only an example of the crime fiction genre, but a satire as well, of many subjects from tourism to sports to race relations to the newsroom. It also contains examples of the literary device of the red herring; for example, deep background is given to characters who appear briefly only to die off, which keeps the reader guessing as to who will make it to the end of the book.