Fierce, tough-minded old Felicia Lamport is convinced that Linda Cushing, who sold the Cambridge Daily Banner to publishing buccaneer Thurman Boucher only to find her late husband's handpicked staff scattered like tenpins, would love to hire Tom Bethany to wrest the paper back for her. Before Bethany can check with the source, though, Linda is dead, an apparent suicide. A lesser detective would set about looking into the suspicious details of her death. But Bethany, who fancies himself less an investigator than a Rambo of the New Left (``Nobody but conservatives ever come to power in America''), goes ahead as if he'd been hired, talking--actually wrestling--himself into Thurman's good graces so that he can get the skinny on Boucher and his whorish wife Alison, whip the staff into revolt, and goad the Bouchers into taking one illegal step too far. Since some preliminary complications with Terry Dineen, the boxing chauffeur he replaced, pose the only real danger that Bethany's scheme won't come off, the story's a lot more satisfying if you happen to share the detective's political sympathies. Less lively and eventful than Bethany's first five spots of revenge (Half Nelson, 1994, etc.). With the likes of Newt Gingrich and Phil Gramm around, why's the guy wasting his time with a tinpot newspaper czar?