How seriously should small-time golf hustler Brad Helfan take the threats to kill him and his family if he doesn't blow his improbable last-round lead in the US Open at Pebble Beach, Calif.? Very seriously, says the bullet that drops him on the 18th fairway, where he's still two strokes up. But Brad's caddy, noted San Francisco phobiaphile Quinn Parker (Full-Bodied Red, 1993, etc.), feels guilty because he wouldn't let Brad quit. So, he won't let the investigation end when the police find the sniper dead in San Luis Obispo. Who would've been hurt if Brad had won the Open? And what did the money matter anyway, since Leonard Novak, the sinister hustling partner whom Brad had been sure was behind the threats, tells Quinn that Brad had been taking a hundred grand a year tax- free off duffers like hapless Graham Kirby, who swore to get even after Brad cleaned him out? Kirby's dead now, but could his vengeful widow be behind the kidnapping of Brad's daughter Alison from her hysterical mother, Peggy, who left Brad over his compulsive gambling? And just what's happened to that nest egg Brad had been socking away? Richly episodic and so luxuriously laid back there's almost no tension or suspense. Even after Brad's killed, Peggy's punched out, Alison's snatched, and Quinn's threatened by serious Vegas gamblers, Quinn still has plenty of time to needle Kate Ulrich, who's returned to warm the cockles of his bed, about her old boyfriend, Craig.