Having introduced himself very effectively in A Piece of the Silence (1982), deaf private-eye Joe Binney doesn't focus much on his handicap through this second N.Y.C. outing. Instead, the emphasis is on plot and action--starting when Joe breaks into a seedy hotel-room and finds the hanging body of accountant Arnold Pelfrey, who absconded with $250,000 belonging to rising actor Bill Macready (Binney's client). Did Pelfrey commit suicide? Or was he murdered? And what happenened to Macready's cash? Those are the initial questions--answered in part when a huge hit-man (Pelfrey's assassin) roughs Binney up badly. Eventually, however, the dogged sleuthing--from underworld to hi-rise offices--uncovers overlapping motivations behind the violence: Macready's ambivalent attitude toward his starring role in an upcoming TV series; the dead accountant's secret sexual obsessions; and some hidden involvements with mobsters and real-estate deals. True, Livingston's close-up view of some network-TV machinations isn't always convincing. And the puzzle becomes a bit too convoluted and drawn-out. But, with regular injections of brisk rough-stuff and raw, amusing dialogue, this is a solidly gritty follow-up for downbeat shamus Binney--whose unlikely chumship with smooth actor Macready provides the most engaging, offbeat touch this time.