Hollywood's radical chic element takes a beating and retired Western stars ride again as an expatriate detective investigates the violent death of his boyhood pal. Movieland types abound here. Jonathan Storm, the son of an Alan Ladd type, was once an L.A. cop, but racial politics unfairly wrecked his career. Now he's just another boozy painter in Puerto Vallarta, cranking out primitives for the American tourists to buy at the local gallery, spending his money on a good-looking real-estate agent, feeling bitter. This not-too-onerous life is interrupted by a call from Terri, the widow of Storm's best pal Gil Buckler. She's calling to let him know that Gil, the paid bodyguard of a Tom Hayden type running for the US Senate, was gunned down in an apparent attempt to assassinate the candidate--and the worthless son of a Gene Autry type has been charged with the crime. Storm decides to take a closer look. It seems that Willie Clewes, the fashionably radical candidate, is not just any leftist wimp; Gil and Storm knew him when they were kids and he was just the class weenie. Furthermore, they both knew and loved (with varying degrees of success) Mrs. Clewes, also the daughter of a film star, before she became a cross between a Linda Ronstadt type and a Jane Fonda type and got rich singing protest rock and franchising taco stands. Storm's investigation of the shooting stirs up a nest of vicious bikers and bomb-throwing Latin American communists and requires the reactivation of his gunslinging daddy. John Wayne-type politics characterize an otherwise tough but harmless thriller.