As usual, low-key Denver p.i. Devlin Kirk (Suicide Season, etc.) is juggling several cases: surveillance of some personal-injury insurance frauds, protection for a playboy whose new Japanese wife's angry father has sworn to kill them both, and investigation of a drug ring in the Advantage Corporation. The protection case heats up with some surprising news about Roland Humphries, his wife Mitsuko, and her father; but it's the drug case that turns red-hot when Devlin's man inside Advantage, Chris Newman, is tortured and killed. While his partner Bunch Bunchcroft goes after the motorcycle man on the Humphrieses' tails, Kirk painstakingly squeezes the low-level sellers at Advantage to crack open a distribution ring that stretches to Pensacola--and to bring in Newman's sadistic killer. Burns sweats the details as much as Kirk in squeezing suspense from his unglamorous cases, and the few surprises are expertly timed. If you haven't discovered Kirk and Bunch yet, don't wait a minute longer.