Wheelchair-bound ex-cop J.D. Hawkins, the narrator-writer/sleuth of Shadow Kills, returns--a little less impressively--in this intriguing but contrived stew of kidnapping, police corruption, sexual secrets, and blackmail. The mayhem begins when the twin children of super-lawyer ""Fitzy"" Fitzgerald (Hawkins' best pal) are abducted--by someone who want Fitzy to withdraw from his big new case against the City of Boston: Mrs. Ida Mae Jones is suing over the fatal shooting of her totally innocent 13-year-old son by notoriously racist cop ""Eyeball"" Edwards. Fitzy complies; the kids are returned--but not till after the murder of a private-eye hired to help find them. And the pressure on Fitzy continues, with creepy cop Edwards the obvious suspect. . .until he himself turns up murdered, amid evidence suggesting that Edwards had a secret fortune and secret, pedophile passions. Are all the killings related to secret homosexual orgies involving underage ghetto boys? So it seems--as Hawkins and girlfriend Megan search for the key witness in the case: a tormented, alcoholic priest who was involved in those scandalous doings. So there'll be a big final showdown, over-neat and not too convincing, when the sleuths and the priest meet up--on a Maine island--with the well-connected blackmailer/killer. Too creaky and lurid (in a dated way) for steady involvement-but Hawkins remains likable company, with potential for better, more thoughtful cases than this.