The author's Scottish hero, gunsmith Keith Calder (Home to Roost, etc.), finally hits a bull's-eye, in tandem with Detective Sergeant Ian Fellowes, his daughter Deborah's suitor. When Robert Hall applies for a job with Calder, he reluctantly tells of having left his last employer because the man appeared to be secretly altering a rifle specifically for assassination purposes, at the behest of a woman later identified as con-artist\fence Dora Braddle. Calder reports the story to the police, and Fellowes is assigned to discreetly pursue Braddle. He quickly becomes the pursued, however, in a chase that involves an American hit man; the rescue of innocent bystander Sheila Blayne; a desperate voyage in a stolen sailboat, with villains in wait at every port; a final confrontation on the desolate moors; and some surprising last developments. Gunlore, kept below brain-glazing levels, is varied with livelier sailing-lore--but this time out, Hammond has come up with a zingy plot, nonstop action, and lots of interesting character interplay to produce a winner.