When State Senator Gus Pe§a, supposedly turning over a new leaf after a month drying out at clinic, is gunned down as he's leaving a restaurant, it appears that Michael Ruiz, a teenage addict who confessed to his therapist at the same clinic that he wanted to murder Pe§a, put action to his words. But did he? Henry Rios, the gay Chicano lawyer of Goldenboy and How Town, is convinced that Michael's covering for someone. Henry, again using p.i. Freeman Vidor for legwork, connects Michael to Pe§a's son Tino, a college chum who used Michael as his alibi when he wanted to sneak out and see his flashy, considerably older girlfriend, and to his manipulative daughter Angela--who might be pregnant, unless she's lying. Eventually, of course, Henry nails the real perp, but not before major confrontations with hostile parents, a corrosive social-service system, and a gung-ho D.A. Nava, the best practitioner of the homosexual mystery since the debut years ago of Joseph Hansen, falters a bit here with a see-through plot. But his characters remain exemplary--from the sensitive, heroic Henry to his AIDS-infected former companion, Josh, to the new man in his life, Lonnie.