Scholarly espionage bangs into police investigations--with Islam providing the connection--as various levels of law enforcement step on each other's feet and dodge bullets on the shores of Lake Michigan. Another Chicago thriller from the author of The Cinch (1986). Two apparently separate series of murders have brought together attractive FBI agent Mary Agnes McCluskey and boozy Arabist Philip Hallet. Ms. McCluskey, cooperating sporadically with her policeman friend Jack Corrigan, wants to know who is getting into taxis with Mideastern cabdrivers and executing them--while Dr. Hallet wants to know who is murdering the Mideastern agents he thought he had hidden from all eyes but his own. Hallet is a scholar at the Arbor Institute for Middle East Studies, a rich little think, tank snuggled up to the University of Chicago; but he is also a secret spymaster whose network of Islamic chums scattered across the country keeps him posted on the shifting winds of international terrorism. Now, however, a very nasty hired assassin is murdering Hallet's associates, and it looks as if there is a leak somewhere higher up. Agent McCluskey, unaware of his problems, seeks Hallet's expert assistance but finds him both ungracious and uncooperative. McCluskey pulls strings and gets Hallet's attention--just as the assassin drops into the neighborhood. A mostly successful blend of semi-penetrable English thriller and straightforward Chicago detection.