In his so-so first appearance, California narrator-shamus Jack Samson, an ex-cop from Chicago, tangles with a right-wing underground mob while solving the murder of a Berkeley professor's wife. The dead woman is Margaret Bursky Harley, who was pushed (or jumped) off the deck of the house she shared with professor John--who's being harassed these days by CORPS (""Campus Organization for the Return of Political Sanity""). He's also being harassed by the cops, who suspect him of the murder (he was, after all, having a serious affair); so he hires Samson--who looks into Margaret's various activities. An artist who semi-abandoned her career (a feminist touch or two here), Margaret had been dabbling in meditation and group-therapy--where she found both suitors and enemies. But was she also dabbling in CORPS, the very group out to destroy her husband? So it seems--and therefore Samson's tough/gorgeous sidekick Rosie will try to infiltrate CORPS before the not-very-satisfying windup. Samson is a solid enough narrator in the breezy/tough-guy vein (with a daub or two of Jewish flavoring); the plotting is fairly lively, if not particularly believable; and, though undistinguished, this is a passable addition to the busy California shamus lineup--with some mild amusement in the meditation/therapy scene.