Mariah Bolt is a senior CIA analyst, a desk jockey. She is also the daughter and sole heir of the late Ben Bolt, a well-known and very popular writer in the style of Jack Kerouac. Mariah is surprised when she is asked to take on an "operations" assignment in California. Her father's literary agent, who lives there, also wants to see her about an unpublished novel that has turned up. A UCLA professor and Ben's biographer urgently wants to see Mariah before the book is handed over to a publisher. Socialite Renata Hunter Carr, the wealthy woman who "stole" Ben from his family 30 years ago, wants to see her about the book as well. Frank Tucker, the CIA operative who recommended Mariah for her job at the agency, has the missing pieces that connect all the players. A series of murders, kidnappings, and Fourth of July fireworks bring the story to its conclusion with a bang. The characters are believably drawn. Well read by Colleen Delany; recommended. Joanna Burkhardt, Coll. of Continuing Education Lib., Univ. of Rhode Island, Providence Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.