Duncan (Temple Dogs) writes what might be called rational melodramas about corporation honchos who have to go out and rewire a wicked world. True, Charlie Corwin is invincible on bourbon, and bullets would bounce from his cool. He's so together, in fact, that his lady housemate of six months splits in chapter one because Charlie is altogether too steely. He's a pro troubleshooter in Tokyo for an American shipbuilding company that turns out gigantic supertankers. . . just when the market has turned to small tankers. And so the shipbuilder, $90M in debt, sets up a fantastic three-way swindle between his British underwriters and a Japanese terrorist group. His loaded supertanker will be hijacked, its sinking faked, and it will then reappear in Los Angeles harbor--a sitting bomb ready to incinerate L.A. in a fire storm unless demands are met: $11 M and the release of six Japanese terrorists in a Mexican prison. What the terrorist hijackers don't know is that the underwriter wants the ship to go up, since this will help him to rearrange the oil industry closer to his heart's desire. What Corwin doesn't know is that he's getting pronged from three directions and that his boss has set him up as a disposable patsy. The story moves from Corwin's bullet-dodging and hiding out in Tokyo to his confrontation with the masterminds in L.A., and his death-proofability is put to maximum stress as deliberate gas spillage catches flame in the harbor, and. . . . Familiar nonsense, tightly done.