Fiddler's fourth case (following the intrigue-less Gatsby's Vineyard) reverts to global subterfuges, super-spy confrontations, and so many twists and turns on the Tijuana/California border that you'd be excused for mistaking it for the Amalfi Drive. Drawn south of the border to avenge the murder of Aaron Sharp, late of the US Border Patrol, Fiddler dispatches the killer, then discovers both Sharp's and his own photograph in the dead man's effects--plus a packet of matches from the Blue Parrot bar. Following up on the clue, he encounters Rickie, notorious smuggler of ""pollos""--illegals willing to pay $300 or much, much more for a quiet, undocumented US entry, among them his arch-nemesis from previous books, Russian agent Volker. Now apparently affiliated with the Che Guevara Battalion of the Aztlan Liberation Front, headquartered in 'Juana, Volker is planning another foray into California and, possibly, a confrontation with Fiora, who's loved both the Russian and Fiddler. Behind it all are USSR plans to take over the trusteeship of a US bank heavy into defense contracts, thus giving them early looks at future US armament plans, etc. Unfortunately, Fiora stands in the way: she has plans of her own for the Pacific Basin Fund in question. With the help of Benny the ice-cream king, Fiddler aborts Volker's border crossing, turns over some of the border ""wets"" to Matthew Suarez (Sharp's illegitimate but loving son, a chip off the old, honest block), and hands over Volker to FBI agent Innes (a schemer second only to Volker in deviousness, but supposedly he's on the right side). Typical espionage complexities, including a couple that weren't really necessary. Aliens trekking through dessicated countryside are well-done--and the meaner Fiddler gets, the better these books seem.