A missing canister of a deadly virus. A lab technician bleeding from the eyes. Toni Gallo, the security director of a Scottish medical research firm, knows she has problems, but she has no idea of the nightmare to come.
As a Christmas Eve blizzard whips out of the north, several people converge on a remote family house. Stanley Oxenford, the research company's director, has everything riding on the drug he is developing to fight the virus—but he isn't the only one: His grown children, who have come to spend Christmas, have their eyes on the money it will bring.
Toni Gallo, forced to resign from the police department in disgrace, is betting her career on keeping the drug safe; a local television reporter, determined to move up, has sniffed the story, even if he has to bend the facts to tell it; and a violent trio of thugs is on its way to steal it for a client already waiting—though what the client really has in mind is something that will shock them all.
As the storm worsens, the emotional sparks—jealousies, distrust, sexual attraction, rivalries—crackle; desperate secrets are revealed; hidden traitors and unexpected heroes emerge.