Abshire, a former Dallas cop and p.i., offers a tough-minded first novel about ex-copturned-p.i. Jack Kyle, who was pushed off the force by narcotics Lt. Brendan O'Bannion--who wanted (and got) his wife, and now needs Kyle's help to get out of a murder charge. O'Bannion tells Kyle that a woman named Pilar can explain everything; but before he can talk to her, Kyle is tailed, then visited by Arthur Crandall, whose job offer would leave O'Bannion undefended. What were O'Bannion and Pilar up to? Before Kyle can figure it out, the cop's dead and Kyle's old feelings for his wife resurface, while the elusive Pilar and the ubiquitous Crandall plot, scheme, and connive for millions taken from the Santa Rosa treasury just before the revolution--which CIA renegade Crandall and misguided revolutionary Pilar had much to do with. Kyle confronts Pilar--a junkie fighting withdrawal symptoms--and accompanies her' to the drop site of those Santa Rosa millions, where the contact is shivved, Pilar is splattered, and Kyle barely escapes for the ultimate face-off: Crandall will release his "prisoner"--Kyle's ex-wife--and Kyle will hand over the secret bank account number, which he pocketed at the drop-site debacle. But there's one more double-cross to be worked through--who set up O'Bannion, and why--and the sorry answer has a lot to do with jealousy and greed. Satisfying twists and turns, somewhat more skillfully plotted than written. The lure of the ex-wife is well thought-out, though, and Kyle's an interesting guy. Overall: a substantial first effort.