Sgt. Robert MacDonald, range officer of the Martin (Tex.) police department, has never drawn his sidearm in 36 years on the force, but he's willing to make an exception for the person who killed his son Terry. That won't do any good, insist his pals (and Terry's) on the force; Terry's death was obviously suicide- -an attempt to expiate his guilt for accidentally killing Melody Arneson in a student protest that got out of hand--and the fact that the gun is missing is no big deal, since there were two days between his death and the body's discovery for it to go astray in. Since none of this is what MacDonald wants to hear about the son who followed in his footsteps, he keeps trying to pry the case open again, and in the process finds out (largely from Jimbo Phillips, the latest in a long line of Terry's partners) a lot of other things about Terry's insensitivity, his moodiness, and his proneness to explosive violence that confirm long-standing fears Terry's father had managed to suppress. At the same time, though, he feels himself closing in on the real killer, and feels confident that a face-to-face confrontation will settle matters once and for all. Don't be too sure he's right about that, or that the justice system will be eager to pick up the pieces if he's wrong. There's something for everyone in Peak's second (Spare Change, 1994), which begins in somber shadows, moves through some tangled investigations, and ends with a fine volley of gunfire.