It's been one of those weeks for Dylan Klein. He's called home from Hollywood, where his pitch for a movie based on his latest detective novel has been going nowhere, to his father's funeral, and then he's called away from the funeral to search for his AWOL nephew Zak. Dylan's the natural person to look for Zak, because the two have always marched to the same different drummer, but now things aren't looking so good for anybody on Zak's wavelength. Valencia Jones, one of Zak's fellow students at Riversborough College, has been railroaded into a serious drug charge, courtesy of a killer cache of a new designer drug called Isotope, not to mention that a retired cop who's been nosing around her case turns up dead. When Zak asks too many questions at Riversborough without saying please, he's locked up with a cellmate who's obviously coasting on Isotope and feels so good that he won't mind becoming the next casualty. Meantime, Dylan gets the word that Zak's ex-lover Kira Wantanabe, the Riversborough student who's jumped Uncle Dylan's bones, may be a working-girl. Should he ask for her hand (and so on) in marriage, or turn her over to the vice squad? For the first half of Dylan's third manic saga, Coleman (Little Easter, 1993, etc.) spins out lovely, dirty complications with a fine sense of galloping paranoia. It's only when the bill for all this binge plotting comes due that the tale falls short.