A first collection of short fiction by a veteran author (Blood Count, etc., etc.) whose output ranges wide, with stories featuring L.A.P.D. Lieutenant Mendoza among the least intriguing. More than a touch of the supernatural appears in ""Conundrum"" set in Ireland, where the legends of the barren Northwest interfere with a Dublin policeman's pursuit of a fleeing criminal. A purely domestic setting is the background for ""They Will Call It Insane,"" a short, bitter account of a boring story told once too often. In ""Happy Release,"" hard-bitten, sharp-thinking Mr. Deasey--temporarily living in the Sunnyrest Nursing Home--takes matters into his own hands and solves a problem no one else has even seen. The occult, tinged ""Rannysore' covers hackneyed ground, with children threatened by a demon force, but still manages to raise a chill. And then there's another kind of threat, totally worldly, to ten-year-old Mike Garvan, in ""Flash Attachment,"" which he resolves with guts and intelligence, in a story both tense and tender. In all, a solid performance that can only enhance its author's body of work.