This is one of John MacDonald's long-playing accounts of crime and punishment, heavily plotted, thinly characterized, well timed while supporting some five stories simultaneously. The main fuse deals with the sinking (an explosion) of a Bahamas-bound luxury yacht which belongs to operator Bix Kayd. Aboard are a few passengers, as well as eight hundred thousand dollars of money to be used as a bribe in a real estate transaction. Aware of this is Cissy Harkinson, who has wasted her once young, still beautiful body, on a Senator, a coronary fatality, and now arranges with Staniker, the boat's captain, to cache the cash, sink the yacht. Assorted romances--Cissy's maid, a Spanish grandee's daughter; a girl aboard the boat, her brother and his momentarily estranged wife--all synchronize and MacDonald, a professional when it comes to telling this kind of story, keeps it commercial with a number of carnal/venal stimuli.