Cambridge, Mass., shamus Jake Eaton (Nantucket Revenge, 1995) is hired by imperious Mildreth Gibbon Preston to figure out what's going on up in Winslow, New Hampshire--where Mrs. Preston has just given the state 20,000 acres of pristine forest and mountain as a memorial to her late husband Oliver, a Nobel laureate and ""founder of the modern environmental movement."" Specifically: Why has Colin Owens, the aerial surveyor assigned to do a flyover of the land, mysteriously disappeared? Could it be connected to the recent murder of a local sheriff--or to bygone village feuds and family secrets? The plot promises to become nicely complicated when the missing man is shot dead down in Boston . . . while breaking into Mrs. Preston's house! But once Jake realizes that all the mayhem is connected to the machinations of a ruthless corporate polluter, the action (revelations/chase/showdown) proceeds along more predictable melodramatic lines. Decent but uneven--with some distinctive village-character touches, a blandly brave hero (with a Lassie-like super-dog as sidekick), and a few intriguing toxic-waste details.