The story begins with an introduction to the character of Ed Kennedy, a down-and-out underage taxi driver who is hopelessly in love with his best friend Audrey, who, to his dismay, feels that she cares about him too much to date him. Ed is standing in a bank queue when a robbery takes place. He accidentally foils the robbers’ escape, and is proclaimed a hero. Shortly after, he receives an Ace of Diamonds in the mail. The ace is from an unknown source. On the ace is written a list of addresses and times. These represent a series of tasks that Ed must complete.
His tasks are as follows:
- He must save a woman who is raped by her husband almost every night.
- He must comfort a lonely old lady.
- He must show a teenage girl how to take control of her life and become more confident.
Throughout the book, Ed receives different playing cards in the mail. Each card is a different ace, and each ace contains a series of tasks, often in the form of cryptic clues. On the second to last card, he receives a list with movie titles on it and deciphers the names of his three best friends.
The last card is a Joker and has his own address written on it. But as it is made clear in the last lines of the novel it’s all about the realisation of chances and potential because as Ed finally says:”I’m not the messenger at all. I’m the message.”