It was truly a crime against innocents. Eleven dolphins, part of an experiment in healing, are found slaughtered in their saltwater tanks. When Thorn investigates, he triggers a vicious attack that leaves him paralyzed from the waist down, plagued by unrelenting pain. Now Thorn, a Florida renegade who has lived a life of fierce freedom, is starting over in a wheelchair, bitter enough to drive his lover away, desperate enough to seek miracles on the fringes of medical science - where his childhood friend, now a doctor, is doing cutting-edge research in a quest for the ultimate painkiller. Bean Wilson was once destined for greatness. Then came the war in Vietnam, a debilitating injury, and a simmering rage. Now Bean is running a pain-relief clinic in Key West, assisted by a beautiful six-foot-tall island girl named Pepper Tremaine, who chews hot chilies like gum and carries a scalpel in her blouse. Under the guise of a respectable research facility, Bean and Pepper are using human beings as lab rats, then feeding the bodies of their failures to the shark-churned sea. Within hours of entering the clinic, Thorn can sense the danger. But when he begins to make the bizarre connection between eleven dead dolphins and Bean's clinic, the stakes are raised. Because Dr. Bean Wilson, a man who knows exactly how an amputated limb can scream with real, unbearable agony, may be on the brink of the most dangerous discovery of all: a cure for human pain. And in a climax that explodes with the kind of secrets that can turn friends into enemies and lovers into strangers, Red Sky at Night races toward a harrowing showdown between Thorn, imprisoned in a wheelchair, and a mad, ruthless doctor who will stopat nothing to cure his own twisted pain.