Seamy yet juiceless: a gay midwestern high-school teacher investigates a colleague's murder--and uncovers the sleazy flip side (child abuse, gambling, adultery, prostitution, snuff movies) to conventional Middle American suburbia. Arriving at school early one morning, narrator-hero Tom Mason finds the corpse, head caved in, of math teacher Jim Evans. The obvious suspect? Jim's gay teen-age son Phil (Tom's former student), who has disappeared. But Tom isn't so sure--especially once he learns that "regular guy" Jim was not only a child-abuser but also a seducer/blackmailer of girl students, a pimp, and a computer-age bookie. So, in tandem with lover Scott (a pro-baseball star), Tom plays sleuth while searching for runaway teen-ager Phil through Chicago's gay-bar/hustling subculture (including the sadomasochistic orgy scene). Despite a fairly effective denouement: an amateurish first novel, flatly derivative (of Joseph Hansen and others), with stilted dialogue, stock characterization, and maudling excesses.