A fine follow-up to Dead Aim (1988), the lyrical p.i. novel that introduced loner Chris Klick and his millionaire chum Lyel. Here, the two men--while vacationing at Lyel's place near Snow Lake, Idaho--puzzle over the crash of a small plane that was attributed to pilot error--except that Chris and Lyel deduce that he didn't make one. Meanwhile, that crash, by a circuitous, unexpected route, lies in with Chris's current damsel-in-distress case--to find Roberta McGreggor for her sister Candy. Did Roberta take off from her job at the county clerk's office to try her hand at gambling in Vegas or did someone make her disappear? And why are oily-smooth entrepreneur Tony Gebhardt and his comely daughter Alicia suddenly so eager to have Chris work for them? And which political hands are the Pacific Rim Leasing and Alpha Corporation greasing? Chris and Lyel soon narrow it down to the manager of the airport (also the mayor) and the county assessor, whom Roberta was probably blackmailing. Several drag races, car chases, and bird-watching digressions later, a major land-redevelopment scam--as well as two murders--is revealed. Elegantly written, hard-boiled fare--Philip Marlowe on a Sierra Club outing--and a crisp, snappy diversion for p.i. enthusiasts.