The homicidal clown known as the Whiteface has been painting the town red with blood. When a trail of corpses leads him to Whiteface's lair, Nighthawk finally gets what he wants: ringside seat to madness.
Steven Binst, in the guise of his victim Fabbo the clown, has poisoned and killed the mayor of Chicago's wife and multiple children including the mayor's son at his 6th birthday party. The mayor's office has written off the deaths as a "food poisoning incident" in public statements. The grieving mayor Deroseau shoots himself during a televised press conference where he begs Nighthawk to murder the killer of his wife and child.
In his guise as Nighthawk, Kyle Richmond tracks judge Dempsey's crack cocaine pipeline to find the poisoner who has killed thousands of Chicago junkies. The deputy mayor informs Nighthawk that the poison that killed the mayor's wife and son was the same as the poison in the crack cocaine, but using an aerosol delivery vector. Nighthawk catches up with Binst in the apartment of Treven Parnell, a top distributor in Dempsey's drug operation. While Nighthawk is distracted by Parnell's bloated and decaying corpse (killed by Binst a month earlier), Binst gets the drop on him using the aerosolized poison.