Stuart Carver, quirky young writer and scion of a great Boston-politics clan, is found dead in an alley, clothed as a bum, with an ice-pick wound in his brain. Why was this wealthy fellow in bum disguise? Because, as his lawyer Brady Coyne (Follow the Sharks, etc.) well knows, Carver was secretly researching a new novel about the homeless. What Brady doesn't know is why Carver was murdered--and he intends to Find out. Quizzing Carver's live-in girlfriend Heather Kriegel, Brady learns that Carver was actually gay (Heather was a cooperative ""cover""), with a low-profile lover at a nearby prep school. Was there, in fact, a fatal lovers' quarrel? Or was Carver's death somehow related to drag-dealing? And why is the killer apparently so determined to find the diary that Carver was keeping? (There are two more murder victims to come: the older, whimsical bum whom Carver befriended; and vivacious Heather, whom Brady has started to fall in love with.) As heavily hinted at in a prologue, however, the real murder-motive involves neither sex nor drugs: Carver knew Too Much, it seems, about the true forces behind a certain political assassination. But, despite this thin contrivance and the halfhearted red herrings, narrator-sleuth Brady is again fine, lightly sardonic company--whether standing up to his rich clients, befriending bums, reluctantly succumbing to passion, or playing the chancy role of divorced father.