What looks like a simple job urged on reluctant California p.i. Fiddler (The Art of Survival, etc.) by his financial-consultant ex- wife Fiorajoining forces to check on the money-laundering activities of gentlemanly bank-manager Bradford Simmserupts into big trouble when the police pick up Brad's contact, Ysidro Iba§ez, and Fiddler grabs his runaway boy Jaime. Turns out that Jaime's already run away once from Colombia, where he was supposed to be a hostage guaranteeing his father would play by the rules of Faustino D`Aubisson's drug cartel, and in order to save his father's life, Fiddler has to track down Jaime's mother and sister and the $15 million Iba§ez has stashed along with themand then arrange a payoff that involves separate double-crosses of Don Faustino, Brad, the local law, a crooked lawyer, and a US Customs official. Beautiful. Fiddler swaggers less than usual, and spends more time disposing of the bad guysin elegantly appropriate waysthan sparring with Fiora. Top-drawer Maxwell.