It's August in Miami, but the real heat wave that blows across Britt Montero's desk comes, as usual, from her newsbeat. There's the bombing execution of Cuban TV-commentator Alex Aguirre, the disappearance of teenager Charles Randolph, and the order from on high to interview Castro-hating businessman Juan Carlos Reyes, who's never liked either Britt or the Miami News. At first the Randolph story looks the hottest, even though the boy has been missing over two years, because a few days' work on the phones turns up nine other blond boys like him who've vanished over the past five years. But the biggest bombshell is Reyes's news that he was a boyhood friend of Britt's father, a Cuban â€šmigrâ€š who was killed on an abortive mission to his homeland before his daughter ever got to know him, and that Antonio Montero kept a diary that must be around somewhere. Can Britt--who's also keeping company with a fearfully avid schoolkid journalist, a recent axe-killer, and the worst hurricane to hit Miami in 30 years--tear herself loose long enough to fit the pieces together? Mass murder, the heroine's confrontation with her family secrets, and a monster storm--yet it all lacks the sizzle of Miami, It's Murder (1994) and Suitable for Framing (1995), maybe because it's so obvious where the story is heading. Buchanan's most ambitious novel is less than her best.