A lawyer tracks a gang of amateur kidnappers across the southwestern desert
By the time Carl Oakley gets to Soledad, the town is an empty shell. But the lawyer isn't looking for the city; he wants to find Terry Conniston. A tire track proves that her sports car passed through not long ago, but Carl doubts Terry was driving. Likely it was Floyd Rymer behind the wheel. With his brother and two other drug-addled thugs, Floyd fronts a second-rate jazz combo whose chief accomplishment, up until now, was a string of steady gigs in fleabag venues up and down the West Coast. Eighteen hours ago, he and his band graduated to kidnapping.
In exchange for Terry, the musicians demand a half million dollars. Some would pay the money; some would call the FBI. Carl Oakley goes hunting. If Terry Conniston is going to die, Carl wants to pull the trigger.