A string of mysterious, gruesome deaths in the Shiprock area has attracted the attention of FBI agent Diane Lopez, who is stunned to learn that one of the victims was a childhood friend. To Diane, the killer is unmistakably a vampire--but the only vampire she knows of is Lee Nez, a State Police officer who prefers his blood chilled in the refrigerator, not hot from someone's neck. Supernatural explanations for the deaths abound--some believe they are the work of the "goatsucker" spirit, others that the killer is an extraterrestrial. Lee Nez, assigned to the case at Diane's request, privately agrees with her that there's a vampire on the loose, but announces that they are looking for a serial killer. Lee and Diane discover that the victims all worked for a secret government lab that was studying a captured vampire, Stewart Tanner. Half-insane from being experimented on, Tanner broke free and took revenge on the doctors and technicians who had been torturing him. Desperate to remain free, Tanner threatens to continue killing federal employees unless the US government agrees to leave him alone. In a violent confrontation, Tanner discovers that Lee is a vampire. Believing Lee is colluding with the government, Tanner vows to kill him. Complicating matters, forensic specialist Dr. Victor Wayne, who began the case as a skeptic--believing Tanner had a rare blood disorder--has begun to believe in vampires. And has turned his attention on Lee. Trying to turn Dr. Wayne back into a skeptic while protecting federal workers, tracking down Tanner, and staying alive--or at least undead--taxes all of Lee Nez's abilities, natural and supernatural.