Perhaps to escape her psychiatrist father’s constant interpretations of her motives, actions, and emotions, snippy, status-conscious teenager Becky Auslander has run away. But as successful kid-finder Jack Liffey (Streets on Fire, 2002, etc.) eventually learns, she did not neglect her comforts on the road, taking with her a million dollars of drug money that had been sequestered in decorative stonework produced in Mexico by La Rox, the company owned by her former boyfriend’s dad. Young Fariborz gave her up for the glory of Allah, a decision which also led him and three pals to plan minor-league terrorist pranks—paint spatterings and the like—that went awry, leading them to militant Sheik Arad for protection. By the time Liffey catches up to Fariborz, the piqued Sheik is plunking radioactive material into devices timed to decimate much of California while the federales and the judiciales, bribed by the drug cartel, have sealed off the border, leaving Fariborz and Liffey only the chancy wetback route back to the States. Liffey’s daughter Maeve, who’s so eager to help her dad she’s had business cards printed up listing herself as part of Liffey and Liffey Investigations, comes to his rescue. Will she be on time, or will one of those bombs tick down past the final seconds?
Shannon, who’s never envisioned a predicament he couldn’t make a bit worse, adds a bout of impotence and a gruesome torture sequence to Liffey’s travails while turning Fariborz’s naïveté into despair.