Friday Harbor is the sole town on small San Juan Island (off the northwest Pacific coast), where Dr. Scott Eason, 35, has a summer cabin. And Scott is far from happy that his vacation is about to fouled up by a public-relations visit from his old classmate Spencer Manning, now a U.S. Senator from Washington. But the visit is soon more than just merely annoying: local fishermen--angry over Manning's stand on fishing treaties--demonstrate with a harbor blockade; there are death-threats against the Senator; and two fishermen are, in separate incidents, found murdered. Are these murders connected to the political death-threats? Scott isn't sure--as he and Manning's bodyguard team up to protect the Senator from scuba-dive sabotage, a booby-trapped boat, and a major bomb-scare. But, despite all their efforts, Sen. Manning disappears one night, turning up dead some hours later of an apparent drug-overdose. And Scott soon winds up in a visceral one-on-one showdown--knives and boiling water--with the under-motivated multiple murderer. As mystery, this is thin and humdrum. Dauntless surgeon Scott, pining for his faraway decorator-girlfriend and resisting Sen. Manning's seductive wife, makes a bland hero. But a few supporting characters come to life, the island atmosphere is attractively done, and the perilous action--underwater, afloat, or in tight cabin surroundings--is gripping enough to hold the reader's otherwise wandering attention.