Five teenaged kids set up a still on the grounds of the old Sunstrike commune in the hills of Washington and drink themselves silly. But they aren't careful enough with their home brew, which leaves two of them partially blind and a third totally dead. A statute on controlled-substances homicide allows the parents of the late Vance Crayson to bring civil and criminal charges against Lindy Adair, the ex-professor who owns the land; but Lindy--who, like everybody else in this wide-eyed first novel, is a really good person--can't afford to give up her only financial asset, especially when the Craysons will clearly be selling it to developers who'll deforest it and put up jerry-built housing. So, aided reluctantly by Sgt. Dan Richison, Lindy responds by looking for evidence of where the boys learned to make moonshine. It was from Max Owen, the folksy grandfather of two of the boys, she learns--but shortly after she visits Owen, before he has a chance to help exonerate her, he's dead, victim of a faked suicide that wouldn't fool a purblind drunk. Lindy, placed by an unidentified witness at the murder scene, is left holding everyone's hand (``Don't bother with guilt,'' she kindly tells one distraught Sunstriker) while she struggles demurely to clear herself. Sensitive to a fault. It would help to miss the Sixties a lot before you dip in.