Santa Maria, site of Wood's Gangland (1988), is now also the location of choice for a couple of cellmates planning to knock off four banks in one day. The logic is sound. Badly crippled but very intelligent Dave Lisio has figured out that fast-growing California cities having a population of between 100,000 and 500,000 are precisely the right size for a multiple heist, since their police departments haven't caught up with the growth and lack big-city skills. And that's where all the mall banks are. They've settled on Santa Maria because Lisio's muscle, Kenny Trask, wants to hook up with the lady lawyer he's been getting steamy letters from. What Lisio hasn't calculated on is the intelligence and persistence of Robby Medavoy, a decorated Santa Maria policeman Filling in as head of the robbery squad. Medavoy is a very busy man, pursuing a case against a criminal lawyer, collecting evidence on crooked cops in the special, weapons team, fighting off attacks from his enemies on the force, but he is still ready to take off after the bank robbers who have been joined by the lady lawyer for their trial run and are ready for their big job. The robbery sucks in everybody from the chief of police to the crooked SWAT team to Medavoy's court reporter girlfriend--and when the shooting is through, Medavoy is either a hero or the worst policeman Santa Maria has ever had. Very good police thriller--by a writer who understands cities quite as well as he understands individuals.