Four young best-friend Yalies--two white, two black--and their triumphs and troubles, including the consequences of two violent deaths: clunky contemporary suspense debut. Brilliant Kayo comes out of Chicago poverty and is maybe too much of an opportunist in his struggle to get ahead in the white man's world; rich socially prominent Connor has everything handed to him by his family--but only if he'll toe the line, and so he insists on secrecy throughout his affair with Michelle, daughter of a black Baptist preacher and a teacher. Elizabeth, daughter of a white New Haven police sergeant and an alcoholic mother, is maybe just a bit too dependent on Daddy. One night, with Connor driving, the friends accidentally hit and kill a homeless man. Kayo, whose father died in custody when arrested on trumped-up charges, panics and convinces the others to dump the body into the river. When a smart cop starts closing in, Elizabeth's father engineers a coverup. After graduation (``bouncing with excitement at the culmination of four years of driving oneself to the limit with intense study and partying''), all four head to N.Y.C. Connor works for the family firm; Kayo discovers racism among the investment elite; Michelle makes a historic find; and Elizabeth develops a cocaine problem. Their bond, frayed by racial tension and career stress, is further threatened by possible exposure of their past crime and then a murder. Wooden characters, bad prose, but the straight-on treatment of racial issues adds something new to this kind of schlock.