Less engaging than The Nebraska Quotient (1984), this second outing for Omaha's ""Nebraska""--hard-boiled shamus, sometime writer--begins with the murder of local banker Jack Castelar. . .and the simultaneous disappearance of Castelar's wild, college-age daughter Kate. So, while the cops concentrate on the killing, Nebraska is hired by the Castelar family lawyer to track down Kate--last seen in the company of a no-good named Walt Jennings, who just might have killed Castelar (who foreclosed on Jennings' property and disapproved of the Kate/Jennings liaison). Nebraska's search is a long, repetitious, somewhat pointless one--through seedy bars, brothels, and motels. Jennings himself eventually turns up brutally murdered. And the solution to the murder/disappearance lies closer to home, where Kate's mother, brother, and sister (a traumatized youngster) await her return--and where Nebraska will uncover some secrets that might be labeled Ross Macdonald Formula 101. Nebraska remains a modestly appealing narrator in the Spenser mode; he sadly bids one bedmate goodbye and eagerly welcomes another (the psychologist attending to the young Castelar daughter). But there's not quite enough charm or style here to compensate for a routine, overextended plot.