The reason he never met her for the Las Vegas weekend he'd invited her to, ex-colleague Charlie East explains to rolling-stone computer newshound Georgina Powers (Frame Grabber, 1993, etc.) after they've met at McCarran Airport and flown together back to Heathrow, is that he got into a high-stakes poker game he couldn't leave till he was sure of the pot: a million dollars' worth of drams, state-of-the-art computer chips. By this time Georgina has already met two of the other principals who'll figure in Charlie's oh-so-simple-sounding plan to convert the chips to cash and pay her back the ú50,000 he owes her: Hungarian gambler Pal Kuthy of AO Electronix, Charlie's potential buyer; and Shinichro Saito, Georgina's lover, who turns out to be the original seller of the chips. The only missing link is Hiroshi Sano, soon identified as the ``Al Sony'' who lost the chips to Charlie in the first place, even though he was under his company's orders to swap them for some prime Colombian blow. But the Colombians, together with the Japanese, Charlie, and Georgina, are all out of luck, because before Charlie can turn them around, the chips are hijacked from his safe-deposit box--the first of many, many reversals in this spirited round of musical drams. Instead of periodically carting in new characters, Danks just keeps peeling back more layers from her tiny cast's masks. (Those drams are not what they seem either.) The dizzying result is like a video-game version of The Big Sleep programmed by David Mamet--so incessantly brutal and funny (except to the heroine, who spends an awful lot of time getting punched out by people who call themselves her friends) that it ends up being exhausting to read.