Boston trouble-shooter Tom Bethany--the cynical, savvy, and well-muscled hero of Body Scissors (1990)--is now helping out married girlfriend Hope Edwards, an ACLU attorney, when Pilgrim Mutual Life refuses to pay the ACLU the quarter million left to them by wealthy flake Morty Limbach, a suicide by autoerotic asphyxiation. Or was it murder? Bethany interviews Morty's hangers-on at his Poor Attitudes house, a crash pad for his acting troupe and their resident psychiatrist, Mark Unger; then Bethany humiliates the Pilgrim Life boys--including Nazi-lover Cooper and his self-made-man/tyrant boss Westfall--and consults with sultry Gladys over at the crime lab. Much strong-arm stuff later, Bethany has escaped a murder setup--and nailed the shrink for patient abuses and more. Follows the Spenser model very closely, but, still, this smart-mouthed, tenderhearted tough guy is a genial, if slick, narrator. The writing is facile, frequently wry.