Coleman's somewhat awkward, frequently overwritten first mystery has a hero whose appeal almost overcomes its highly improbable plot. Whether he is worrying about his beloved New York Mets or commenting perceptively on matters as mundane as pancakes (``your memory of them is always better than your bloated belly's reality''), hapless insurance-investigator Dylan Klein seems closer to reality than most tough-guy protagonists. Klein is asked by an old Russian ÇmigrÇ to track down a man in a faded WW II photograph. Thereafter, he is immediately knocked unconscious, awakening to a headless corpse and threatening telephone calls from an enemy who seems always to be in the right place to fire a bullet through the window or to know everything Klein does. But why does this seeming killer want Klein to find the same man his apparently dead client did? And is the beautiful woman who claims to be the client's daughter for real? Our hero and his ex-NYPD police detective friend Johnny MacClough try to figure it all out, exposing an unlikely political tangle involving the National Security Agency and Russian and Israeli agents. It all ends with a real surprise.