Harry Lyon is a cop who embraces tradition and order. He likes everything in his life to be neat and clean, from his immaculate condominium to his well-tailored clothes to his homicide case files with their error-free typing. The biggest bane of his life is his partner, Connie Gulliver. Harry doesn’t like the way she dresses for work, the messiness of her desk, her lack of social polish, or her sometimes casual attitude towards the law.
‘Look, Harry, its the Age of Chaos,’ she tells him. ‘Get with the times. To be a good cop in the 90s, you’ve gotta to of the 90s. You gotta be in sync with the rhythms of destruction. Civilization is coming down around our ears. You’ve gotta know when to break a rule to save the system – and how to surf on every random wave of madness that comes along.’
Harry loathes that attitude.It makes him sick.
But when Harry and Connie have to take out a hopped-up gunman in the restaurant where they’re having lunch, the chase and shootout swiftly degenerate into a surreal nightmare that seems to justify Connie’s view of the modern world. And later, on his way back to the office to write up a report of the shooting, Harry encounters a hulking denizen of the streets, filthy and clad in rags, who says ominously, ‘Ticktock, ticktock. You’ll be dead in sixteen hours.’
From noon that Tuesday until dawn of the following day, Harry Lyon struggles desperately to regain the neat and orderly life that he cherishes, but instead he is caught in an undertow of terror and violence. Someone is after him for reasons he does not understand, and Harry must come to terms with the chaos of the modern world id he is to have any hope of saving himself, Connie Gulliver, and the people he loves.