Londoner Sam Dean, the black free-lance journalist introduced in Blood Rights, has old ties to both murder victim Aston Edwards, a savvy black politico, and the chief suspect, young Tony, who was obsessed with Aston's wife. But when Walter Davis, spokesperson for several of the Labour Party's black coalitions, asks him to do a puff piece on Aston--to keep the party intact--Dean turns up a few warts: Aston's current girlfriend, Kim Parker, was the daughter of a white building contractor, whose bids were always the winning ones; the racist Parkers may have been the target of an Aston probe into local government corruption; and Aston's political rivals may have been angling for the Labour nomination themselves. It's also possible that Aston tumbled onto a drugs racket headquartered in the locally funded youth center. Which faction wanted the rising political star dead the most? The downbeat answer comes after Dean fisticuffs his way through a few unfriendly scenes--and dismantles a family alibi. Like Blood Rights, a trenchant commentary on black/white relations. Dean, a testy, strong-arm hero, has as hard-boiled a mind-set as any Chicago/L.A. private eye.