Fresh from her latest sex-change operation in Brazil--she's coming down the last mile now--Estela Santos is sent back to her old stomping grounds by her drug-trade boss to assassinate Manchester businessman/crime lord John Burgess. Word is that when Estela was Paul Sorel, she (or he) ran out on Burgess after Burgess tried to rape him, avenging himself with thousands of amphetamine-laced pounds Burgess had laundered through clubs like the Gravity and the WARP. So if Burgess recognizes Estela, he'll at least be delighted to see her, right? Estela's life gets more complicated on page one, when she unwittingly picks up a Burgess travel agent named John Caxton, a.k.a. Yen, for a little after- hours fun. Next morning, Yen's decamped with Estela's Beretta and estrogen pills, leaving every indication besides that he knows she's after Burgess. Can things get any worse for our heroine? Well, the next time she sees Yen at the Gravity, he's dead, shot with her Beretta, and the shooter, his girlfriend Theresa O'Donnell, is only too happy to blame it all on the mysterious South American woman who practically ran over TrÇz getting to the body. Meantime, Burgess is still riding high; his gang is splintering into well-armed factions that blast each other as readily as you'd ask the time; and an awful lot of people are looking for Estela. One of the liveliest (and noisiest) of recent British bad- boy debuts races to a climax that the dialogue memorably summarizes: ``Is anyone dead?'' ``Yeah, obviously, totally.''