Freelance journalist Jack McMorrow thinks he's come to little Scanesett, Maine, to research Benedict Arnold's 1775 trek to attack the fortifications of Quebec. But when he picks up the scent of a mystery man--one ""P. Ray Mantis""--who got off the tour bus from Boston for lunch in Scanesett and never got back on, he's off and running in a new direction, even though his editor's increasing anxiety about the Arnold article guarantees that Jack will be running in two directions at once. Despite the protests of a Chamber of Commerce rep, there's nothing to see or do in Scanesett, and our journalist runs afoul of the local police chief early on--plus which the only people who seem to have seen the elusive Mr. Mantis, Robie Roberts and his sister Rob-ann, are as inarticulate as they are reclusive, so naturally Jack is convinced there's a big story here. Next thing you know, he's delving into the missing man's alleged CIA past, shuttling back and forth across the US-Canada border as often as the smuggler Canadian authorities seem convinced he is, alternately chasing and getting chased by Robie's family relations (who are almost as slow as Robie, and a lot more mean)--and punctuating all this dim intrigue with an endless series of sensitive phone calls to his convalescent friend Clair Varney in Virginia and his belle Roxanne Masterson in Florida. Jack's fourth (Potshot, 1997, etc.) features as much sound and fury as a summer movie blockbuster, though it's just as likely to leave you scratching your head at the fadeout.