In this tough-guy procedural from Canada, winner of the Scribner Crime Novel Award for 1983, first-novelist Wood shows a modest, distinct talent for wry, hard-boiled delivery--despite a plot that's hectic rather than genuinely mysterious or clever. Narrator Reid Bennett, who lost his police-job and his wife after stopping (fatally) a couple of rapists in Toronto, is now the one-man police force in the resort town of Murphy's Harbour. But sleepy Murphy's Harbour starts hopping when a trio of enigmatic New Yorkers arrives: a chemist, his girlfriend, and their hired security-man. Their boat turns up empty; then the security-man turns up dead--as does their hired skipper. The chemist disappears; his girlfriend tells Reid assorted lies, but entrusts him with a super-important sealed envelope. More bad guys surface, roughing up Reid (and his fighter-dog Sam). And there's a boat-siege showdown, with unsurprising revelations about drugs and such. Solid action, a few charming touches, sturdy shoestring-procedure: a serviceable debut, with promise, perhaps, of better things to come.