A ramified thriller about the 1969 murder of United Mine Workers leader Jock Yablonski and his wife and daughter, for which the union president, Tony Boyle, was convicted in 1974. The framework is simple: the assassins and their alleged instigator are brought to justice by tough but fair judges and zealous prosecutors; ordinarily immovable government bureaucracies come to life; Boyle's successor, Arnold Miller, inaugurates union democracy. The Yablonskis' every threshold-of-death motion is reproduced, the scuzzy killers are anatomized. The impact remains something less than that of an In Cold Blood. More importantly, the book leaves open a number of questions. The ""fearlessly honest"" dissident Yablonski lived on a hundred-acre estate while drawing a union official's salary'. And why a cagey veteran like Tony Boyle, however malevolent, would concoct such a witless plot is not sufficiently explained by a minor character's reference to the union's bloody history. Tendentious but thorough and as grisly as anyone could wish.