A Pulitzer-winning aviation reporter for a Washington, D.C., daily sticks with the story of a downed jumbo jet and uncovers a sinister web of political, bureaucratic, and industrial corruption without the help of Carl Bernstein--in a first novel from a celebrated investigative reporter. The Consolidated Pacific jetliner that went down at Washington's Dulles airport was carrying, in addition to hundreds of doomed passengers, the reputation of an Ohio engine manufacturer hoping to crack the world jet market. How unfortunate, then, that it was one of those Buckeye engines that caused the crash. Or was it? In the confusion of the aftermath, acting on orders from somebody with a Great Deal of Money, a member of the NTSB investigative team plants a big squished bird in the engine, steering inquiry away from the possibility of defective parts. But there's a witness, and the witness threatens to squeal. There's also pressure from a nasty Ohio senator to wrap up the investigation quickly and without any suggestion of Buckeye culpability. The single bird theory is close to acceptance until Washington Chronicle reporter Steve Pace, who persists in his investigation despite the threat of a couple of hired Baltimore goons, gets to the bottom of things. In the process, Pace loses a friend, regains a lost love, and has a nice visit from his daughter. Populated with faceless, unlovable bureaucratic dweebs, drowning in journalistic detail, and much too long. The only twist to the plot comes too late for anyone to care.