In the mid-1970s, John Ross, a former L.A. cop who was falsely accused of a mass slaughter and went into debt defending himself (and lost his job), is offered $20,000 to go to Canada and locate Peter Marcuse. Who is Marcuse? Ross isn't told--but in fact Marcuse is part of a tremendous takeover scheme, and Ross has been sent after him to draw off the heat from several organizations that are trying to thwart the big takeover. The takeover: Howard Hughes--in his last, most daring deal--is leading a cartel of businessmen in buying Nicaragua from President Somoza for three billion dollars. (One billion down, the first year.) Hughes has worked out a 50-day plan with Somoza in which the switching of the country's governmental, military, and secret police forces into the control of the Hughes cartel's picked replacements will occur on a daily schedule. Meanwhile, the Canadian diversion has been set up, featuring Ross and others, to attract the Marxist Sandanista guerrillas from Nicaragua away from the hot center of action surrounding Hughes. But the action has mushroomed horribly: two new groups, aside from the Sandanistas, have arisen and are moving violently into the field--a hit squad from the U.S. Justice Department (which regards Hughes' business defection for tax purposes as treason) . . . and the Canadian Mounties, who are very bloody-minded indeed. Ross falls for Marcuse's girlfriend Elizabeth, but he later finds her head bashed in from a cattle-killer stun gun. And so it goes--in another violent, entangled, batty but tight and forceful tale from the author of Rekill.