A slow-starting first effort that eventually takes off, though screenwriter Norwood's dandy plotting skills far outstrip his sense of language. When bailbondsman Charlie Tone's card is found on Joe Torelli, he's invited to identify the body at the morgue, where he meets FBI agent Peterson (Torelli snooped for him). Soon Charlie is replacing Torelli, Torelli's drinking pal Eddie Mikenas has disappeared, and more bodies are turning up--also with their hands chopped off. Moreover, all clues point Charley toward FBI headquarters in Washington--where, with agent Hanlon and K.C. (a homicide cop), he discovers a tie-in to Matthew Byrne, the Bureau chief (a possible assassination attempt on him?) and to various unknown ""financiers"" who have set up an international money-laundering operation. Quicker than the good guys/bad guys can change sides, Charlie learns that Eddie bugged an FBI agent incriminating himself, then stupidly listened to the tapes. And it takes a stakeout, a shootout, and a double-cross (yes, another one) before Charlie can identify the schemer on the tape, as well as the reason for all this carnage, which includes a downed plane, a brain-dead figurehead, and an avariciousness just this side of Midas. Gritty plotting but lumbering prose style. Seems ideal for a made-for-TV movie.