Ex-police officer Westermann (The Honor Farm, 1996, etc.) returns to his suburban haunts for a tour of corrupt politics as Nassau County homicide detectives Maude Fleming, who's gay, and body-builder Rocky Blair gather evidence about the kidnapping of Deputy Nassau County Executive Elizabeth Lucido, who knows where all the bodies are buried on Long Island. She and her lover, Jackson Hind, a Democrat successfully challenging the arrogant Republican incumbent County Executive Martin Daly, hope to orchestrate the collapse of the last great political machine in America. But now Elizabeth, who is Daly's deputy and the brains of his campaign, has disappeared. Does Daly, who can speak only with a forked tongue, know that Elizabeth is selling him out to Jackson Hind? Meanwhile, Fleming is haunted by a similar case, the only unsolved homicide on her resume, that of Barbara ""Babs"" Whitcomb III. In this gruff procedural, all ties are suspect; even top police officers harbor motives for had acts. Westermann scores with Fleming and Blair, whose sidekick status (as with Holmes and Watson) consistently deepens our interest amid cop tough-talk and the pompous vulgarities of the politicians. And do we find out who waxed Babs? We do.