Simon Quarry, the publisher-turned-avenger who first appeared in The Fourth Angel (1986), abandons luxurious but solitary retirement to take on a gang of Italian kidnappers. Boredom, an empty bed, and the chance to wipe out a clutch of merciless Mediterranean evildoers induce hard-drinking Simon Quarry to leave the servants, swimming pool, running trails, and other comforts of his sprawling Mallorcan estate. The proposal for action is delivered by Philip Wintle, once a servant of the Crown. Wintle has gone to work for a consortium of millionaires organized by industrialist Klans Kleiner in an effort to cut their losses from the kidnappings that plague the wealthy families of Europe. Wintle needs Quarry immediately, if you please, since the group is currently coping with the abduction of the pubescent daughter of one of their number, Signor Luigi Fori. Negotiations have stalled, and the kidnappers have begun to send off pieces of the little girl. Pausing only for a last drink and to pack a modest arsenal, Quarry heads for Milan--where he meets the worried rich and the victim's beautiful physician half-sister, who becomes his right-hand person. Alas, he is too late to save the little girl, but the gang moves right in on another child, and Simon quickly picks up the trail that leads straight back to the consortium. Quarry's not the easiest fellow to warm up to, but, overall, the action here is acceptably brisk.