Jackson Jablonski is an old-fashioned, overweight ex-FBI guy who is decidedly out of place in hip Venice, California, where he and his wife have come to sell her dead brother's beach house. Jablonski is, quite simply, bored out of his mind--until he takes a morning walk on the beach and discovers a very beautiful and very dead young woman strapped into the pilot's seat of a downed small plane. Turns out it was a cocaine overdose and not the crash that killed her, and that sets Jablonski off on the hunt (with virtually no objection from the local police). Did the woman O.D. on her own, or was she murdered? Her sleazy gossip-columnist husband is certainly a suspect, but--since the lady slept around--so are two of her lovers: the married TV executive who owns the plane, and the pilot with whom she regularly flew off to Mexico. Jablonski plods through the case, filling in the rest of his time having meals with his wife or helping keep an eye on the elderly ex-movie star who lives across the street--until he ultimately finds himself alone with the unconscious murderer in a plane heading out over the ocean. Pretty routine stuff, overall, with most of the limited interest coming from the knowledgeable aviation talk throughout (pilot-author Lafferty has also written an aviation thriller, The Downing of Flight Six-Heavy--not reviewed).