One double-murder mystery, one mega-drug-bust, and one cop in the midst of psychological trauma: business as usual at the 87th Precinct, but without the old class and conviction. The main puzzle here, for the Precinct's lead team of Carella & Meyer, is a grim whodunit: on New Year's Eve, a recently adopted baby is smothered, and the teenage babysitter is stabbed to death. First the cops suspect the babysitter's old boyfriend; then they go after the baby's natural father, a merchant seaman. But when the child's natural mother (a young artist-heiress) is then murdered in Seattle, Carella finally follows two other, obvious lines of inquiry. . .and comes up with a mighty implausible solution. Meanwhile, cop Bert Kling gets wind of a huge drug-delivery about to go down, trailing some underworld types--while he himself is being trailed by super-ruthless Jamaican assassins. And, also meanwhile, Kling's girlfriend, policewoman Eileen, swears off sex (because of her undercover traumas as rape victim and rapist-killer) but eventually makes a commitment to get psychotherapy. Sloppily padded out to 355 pages: one part soap-opera, one part pulp-melodrama, one part solid procedural--and about average for later, lesser McBain.