Just as New York crime reporter Mike Kincaid's about to waltz into a new job at City Magazine, the mag's design chief, Stephen Lister, is killed amid allegations of drug-dealing, snuff films, and a secret plan to take over the finances of City. Mike's nosy questions about the alibis of Virginia Danbury, his contact on the magazine, and her brother Mitch, chill the City air; but he's soon off and sleeping with sultry Ann Raymond, star of Lister's revealing Uptown Girl photo shoot. When the police link Lister to Brad and Isabel Palmer, a Long Island senator's son and widow, it's Mike who teases out Lister's link to an unsolved 15-year-old murder in the Palmers' hackyard--and presses every new lead, from another of Lister's bedmates to a helpful suburban librarian--until the long-awaited final revelation that brings all the pieces together. Television writer McCabe (Bad News at Black Rock, 1987) has a fine sense of what reporters actually do to get crime stories. It's a shame he's so emphatic about making Mike's first case his last.