Mark Dillard has had it with affirmative action and the decline of old-fashioned American values. Together with his dim cohorts--a disgruntled trash collector, a handyman who's good with tools, and a hot-headed kid--he's ready to stick it to Baltimore's African-American community. First, this cadre of neo- Nazi wannabes plans to execute drugstore king/NAACP donor Sheldon Blumberg. Then they'll plant a pipe bomb in the sanitation department, and follow it up with a few trash-can specials, just to keep everybody guessing, before moving on to the main course: blowing up the NAACP headquarters. But somebody who knows Dillard's plans has been phoning black police reporter Darryl Billups at the Baltimore Herald with a series of anonymous tips. Will Darryl--who's already got his dance card full with a mugging (his own), a hot new love interest, and the smilingly unscrupulous colleagues who'd stop at nothing to steal his best stories--dismiss the androgynous tipster as a crank, or use the info to stop the killing before the NAACP building is toast? What ought to be a foolproof nail-biter is sabotaged with so many subplots and scores to settle--the characters have as many unrelated stories to tell as the Herald's Metro section--that Dillard's crew of crazies is shrunk down to just one more nuisance in Darryl's life. But first-novelist Walker certainly has a big enough canvas for the promised series.