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By air, sea, and land the members of the Miami-Dade Crime Lab are called out. In a field outside the Everglades a balloon has just set down; the lone man inside the basket is dead -- an apparent suicide. A yacht riddled with bullets limps into the Port of Miami; only a gravely wounded hijacker survives, confessing that there are drugs somewhere on board, but he can't find them. A local journalist, looking to break out of the rat race with a novel based on the people he covers on his beat, is found dead.
In the yacht's galley is a record-setting sunfish that seems to be the key piece of evidence to just what was being smuggled on the ship, yet the lab is stumped when they discover no more than the normal parasites infesting the fish. A raunchy video of a citrus heiress having sex in a public place gives her the motive to kill the journalist-turned-novelist, but she has an alibi. All small pieces of the puzzles that Horatio Caine and the member of his team have to unravel to find out why all these people were killed. Before it is over the members of the Miami-Dade Crime Lab are caught up in an intrigue that reaches to the heart of Castro's Cuba.