Where, oh where has violinist Sharon Cooper's wayward brother Jason gone? Deep underground, if he's got any sense. The basketball prospect's gone AWOL from Cragman Community College just as Sharon's getting a series of quietly menacing phone calls ordering her to produce him--and since she can't, she runs to Malachy Foley, the suspended lawyer whose debut (Fixed in His Folly, 1995) showed such unusual range and reach. No such luck this time. Oh, Mal does the job all right, since the kidnapping of his client and his sometime wife Cass gives him the just right motivation to divine that media sex lord Breaker Hanafan is bound to know something about the kid's disappearance; to trace Jason to the home of his former (make that late) high-school basketball coach; and to link Jason's hiding act to the, uh, accidental deaths of his roommate and his girlfriend just a few weeks earlier. But as the outlines of the secret in Jason's unwilling possession come into focus--it's got something to do with US Attorney nominee Calvin Radcliffe, the evidence is two sheets of paper Jason's socked away somewhere, and an awful lot of Chicago hoods are willing to go the extra mile to get those two flimsy sheets--you find yourself getting impatient waiting for Mal to figure out what the writing on those fatal papers means, and hoping there'll be more to the case. There is, but not nearly enough. Altogether more routine than Walker's first, though resourceful Mal shows some nifty moves with a parking ticket, a length of plumber's pipe, and the current issue of Good Housekeeping.