Denver homicide-cop Gabe Wager, always moody, is downright morose in this eighth sturdy procedural--pushing himself workaholically as he silently grieves and guilts over the drowning death of girlfriend Jo (Ground Money). Working with a new, rather boorish partner, Wager puts in lots of overtime on a politically sensitive case: the murder of black councilman Horace Green, shot to death and dumped in an empty, overgrown lot on the bad side of town. Was Green the victim of the racist ""White Brotherhood,"" which has a small but militant Denver chapter? That's the current rumor, along with allegations of police cover-up--so, street-riots start boiling in black neighborhoods, the pressure is on for a quick solution. Wager, however, stubbornly insists on doggedly pursuing each and every possibility: Green's extramarital affairs; his disputes with black radicals, who'd been accusing him of selling out; poor tenants who blamed Green (chairman of the city zoning committee) for their eviction; and, most disturbing of all, rumors about Green taking kickbacks from builders and real-estate developers. Less vividly peopled and tautly plotted than the best Wagers, but--even with a rather limp windup--solid and steady legwork in an urban, somber vein.