Ever since Colt and his robot sidekick Petey battled with a monster beneath the city streets, a dark cloud has been hanging over the private detective and the City of Angels at large. Struggling to find steady work and indulging an ever-increasing taste for booze, our titular hero is angling for rock bottom when his best friend, Clutch McIntyre, becomes his next client.

Clutch's sister and her new husband have been involved in a mysterious plane crash, and dozens of passengers from a DC-4 bound for LAX lie scattered across the desert outside the city. The only problem is the aircraft appears to be missing, along with the pilot and several passengers, Clutch's sister included. As more incidents of missing planes and passengers raining from the sky soon follow, Colt faces down biggest case of his life, with no clues to help him break it but one: a lone survivor of the original incident, a stewardess who landed in the Salton Sea and came out with a spotty memory. If he can crack the secrets she holds inside her, he could solve the mystery of the stolen sky, but doing so may also shatter everything Colt understands about himself.

This is the third installment of Dickson's COLT COLTRANE series. For more anachronistic, pulpy fun, be sure to also read the tale that started it all: COLT COLTRANE AND THE LOTUS KILLER, followed by the "mini-episode," COLT COLTRANE AND THE HARROWING HEIGHTS OF HOLLYWOODLAND.