A second, so-so appearance for lawyer-turned-detective Benjamin O'Malley, who made a lively, uneven debut in Special Circumstances (1983). This time, after some recuperation up north, O'Malley returns to L.A. to do an investigation for his lawyer-buddy Jerry Baird: the client is gorgeous super-heiress Anna Bradley--whose husband John, top accountant at a major film-studio, has disappeared. . . along with his trashy secretary Monica. Was John on the take? Did he know about the ""sweet deals"" going on at the film-company, with out. sized amounts paid for company purchases? What's his connection to aged Mafia type David Perino, whose hired thug keeps beating everyone up? Is there a link to the bygone murder of Anna's tycoon-father? Those are only a few of the tangled threads here--which become even knottier when John turns up dead in N.Y., with the murder of Anna's chauffeur and multiple disappearances (Monica's, Anna's) soon to follow. And the busy finale, at Perino's beach-house, offers a gnarled explanation for everything: a not-very-satisfying mix of greed and Freud, with blatant (but feeble)echoes of Chandler and Macdonald. Still, though less frequently amusing than Special Circumstances, this is moderately engaging rough-stuff--occasionally brightened by charming, sexy, or comic touches.