Murdock, perennial rescuer of teens (Merry Christmas, Murdock, 1989), watches one girl die and another become seriously wounded when someone takes potshots at his Newport Beach deck. With their help, Murdock was trying to sort through the last days of Rollie Nielsen, a Seattle chemistry student who either OD'd or was murdered. To avenge the girls and learn more about Rollie, Murdock heads for Seattle, where, with the whimsically effective help of would-be p.i. Louie Chen and the empathetic, homeopathic Hana St. Cloud, Rollie's plant-care lady, he not only uncovers a lab for manufacturing ice, a designer drug, but an ice antidote formula as well. Also: Rollie's personally filmed love tapes; deft misdirection from a CIA operative undercover as a bartender; and some major mischief from Seattle crime boss Big Daddy Borkland. There'll be injuries galore before Murdock wraps up the case, Hana issues an invitation, and Louie decides playing Sherlock suits him just fine. Hard-nosed p.i. fare, with romance singeing the edges while our hero tries to toe the no-commitment line. Good reading, with frisky Chen and Hana definite scene-stealers.
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