A below-par debut, whose two bland sleuths--discreetly gay p.i. Derek Thompson and compassionate Torrance Adams, a special assistant to the Attorney General--join forces to discover whether a kidnapped baby and an unidentifiable dead infant in a car crash are one and the same. It turns out they're not, but the duo's investigation uncovers two other baby kidnappings; several birth certificates signed by alcoholic M.D. Moorehead (who is eventually strangled with his own necktie); and three adoptions arranged by (supposedly) legitimate attorney John Solomon and his sister Shirley Robusson--who just happens to manage Parentbuilding, an unlicensed adoption-referral service. Matching hospital footprints of the babies finally reveals the scheme, and the finale includes the main perpetrator attempting to strangle a jogger--the only eye-witness to the first babynapping--while Derek and Torrance speed to the rescue. Flat, awkward prose, predictable storyline, too-too noble intentions. No suspense to speak of and, alas, tedious throughout.