A Hollywood screenwriter sorts out much of the very big mess a pretty lady has got herself into--from pseudonymous CIA veteran Donoghue (The Dublin Affair, 1988, etc.). Marine Vietnam vet and TV hack Joe Brent meets beautiful Melissa Tarkos on the mean streets of his own neighborhood, where, in her designer frock and fur-piece, she is most out of place. Rescuing her from the unwanted attentions of local toughs, Joe takes her to his crummy room for a bath and a chat. Is she a hooker? Who else would be out on the sidewalk in such a get-up? But she's so beautiful. And awfully nice. It turns out that Melissa, girded in a diamond-and-cash-stuffed money belt, is fleeing her husband. She spends a chaste night and then leaves before Joe wakes up; but Joe, badly smitten, follows up a newspaper ad and discovers that his new love is the wife of Borden Tarkos, a creepy movie mogul with mob connections. A plea for more help from Melissa leads to a reunion and subsequent healthy adult activities. In love, but still levelheaded, Joe steers Melissa to the feds, where she trades knowledge of hubby's criminal activities for witness protection. But hubby's arm is long, and Melissa is forced to rejoin Tarkos and sail with him to the Mediterranean, leaving Joe to face the mob, who want the diamonds and all the cash Tarkos skimmed from their joint Vegas operations. Escaping anonymous death at the hands of mobsters in Baja California, Joe hunkers down in his mortgaged sailboat and plots, trying to ignore the squeals coming from a nearby boat where two fun-loving ladies are taking on all comers. Teaming with a jolly Mexican-American treasury agent, and then with the squealy ladies, Joe wreaks violent and un-writerly revenge on the movie mogul and the mob--then waits for his love to return from the Cote d`Azur. Two-fisted, inelegant, and rather rambly.