Filmmaker/sleuth Maggie MacGowen (Bad Intent, 1994, etc.) has a new project--a network documentary on the 20-year-old unsolved murder of Roy Frady, a cop with the 77th precinct of LAPD. Maggie has been living for some time with LAPD's Mike Flint, who, back then, made a tight foursome with police buddies Roy, Hector Melendez, and Doug Senecal--spending time in the same bars, having sex with the same whorish women, etc. Maggie is intrigued by a possible connection to the short-lived Symbionese Liberation Army, of Patty Hearst fame, rumored to be holed up in LA at the time, with FBI agent Chuck Kellenburger in watchful pursuit. That was then. Right now strange things are happening as Maggie goes about the business of talking to those close to or on the fringes of the old murder: Hector Melendez dies in a seemingly unrelated crime; Michelle Tarbett--a former topless dancer, scheduled for an interview, is found stabbed to death; JoAnn Chin, another of Roy's women, has had her face smashed; and someone set fire to Maggie's home office in the middle of the night. That incident puts Maggie on a circuitous trail that finally closes the book on Roy Frady's murder. Despite an overload of plot twists and sleazy sex, plus weakly constructed motivation, this is strong stuff. Hornsby's tension-filled, offbeat world will hold the reader to the end.