Albuquerque corporate raider Terrance Lewellen has good reason to be upset: A kidnapper has grabbed not only his soon-to- be-ex-wife, Deborah Dumaine, who researches parrots at UNM, but also Perigee, one of his prize indigo macaws, whose bereft mate, Colloquy, is a lot more upset than Terrance. (It's a measure of Van Gieson's calm authority, in fact, that Terrance's dry-eyed, mildly annoyed response to Deborah's disappearance is never played for easy laughs.) Convinced that California cowboy Wes Brown, who's tried to sell him smuggled parrots before, has graduated to Class A felony, Terrance wants attorney Neil Hamel (The Lies That Bind, 1993, etc.) to find or ransom Perigee and his human companion, and if possible get the goods on the bad guy. But when Neil treks out to a spectacular desert setting to drop off the biggest ransom that stingy Terrance would agree to, her successful confrontation with dumb-as-dirt Wes Brown is the prelude to a hijacking that leaves her without the money, the macaw, or the missing wife. What to do but hitch a ride back to town and report to Terrance--except that he's now lying dead of allergic shock in the arms of Deborah's half-sister Sara? Sadly, it's all downhill from there, with an intricate web of evidence camouflaging an unconvincing kidnap/murder plot, and a human cast less personable than their fine feathered friends. Maybe Terrance had his priorities right after all.