Hamish Macbeth, one-man police force of Lochdubh village in the Scottish Highlands, is in trouble again (Death of a Nag, 1995, etc.), with archenemy Chief Inspector Blair still trying to orchestrate his downfall. For some time, the village has been home to one Randy Duggan, nicknamed Macho Man, whose past is mysterious and who regales the bar regulars with tales of his wrestling triumphs--his massive fists ready for action at the slightest provocation. Hamish has accepted his challenge to a fight (strictly against regulations), and the whole village comes out to watch. When Duggan fails to show, it's fisherman Archie MacLean who finds him in his cottage--hands bound, shot to death. Hamish does his best to scout Duggan's true identity and questions the villagers who had close contact with him, as well as the newcomer Rosie Draly, a romance author rumored to be writing a detective story. Days after that interview, Hamish finds Draly stabbed to death, her computer disks destroyed. Draly's killer is soon nailed, thanks to Hamish's persistence in tracking the evidence, and confesses to Duggan's murder as well. The police brass are satisfied but not Hamish. He carries on his own investigation in disguise, going all the way to Glasgow, where he finds another corpse; commandeers a civilian plane back to Lochdubh; and arrives just in time to save the life of sometime girlfriend Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, and to wind up the case--his way. The rambling, shambling plot has some suspenseful patches; Lochdubh's locals are as entertaining as ever; and Hamish is at his charming, exasperating best. Mid-level Beaton, and that's not bad.