The New Jersey State Police had started calling him Howdy Doody, after the famous TV puppet of the 1950s. Three people had been killed in northern New Jersey, then three in Manhattan, and another in the Bronx, in a thirteen-month period. All of them were found hung up with strings attached to their limbs, like puppets. Finally the murderer was caught in New York City. But several months later, State Police detective Mo Ford finds another victim, killed and arranged in exactly the same way. Is it a copycat crime, or did the police catch the wrong man? Mo's theory about what happened soon expands to involve U.S. intelligence agencies and a horrific experiment with human beings. With so many forces behind the scenes, who is the real puppet master?