Serving time for the theft of a quarter of a million dollars, Nick Polo is offered a chance to get back his private investigator's license and to have his sentence commuted when the mayor of San Francisco is victimized in a blackmail scheme. The mayor's chief aide enlist's Polo's help because a not-quite-ex-con isn't likely to bring in either police or press and the mayor is a lady whose dreams of higher office will burst if the sexually incriminating tapes go public. Polo follows leads that take him to a porno film production warehouse as well as slightly tonier San Francisco hot spots. He has run-ins with thugs, a massive Doberman and a sadistic looney before he winds up the casetoo late, alas, for the mayor, her aide and a few street people. Polo's debut is marked by a laid-back, hard-thinking hero, an intricate, neat plot and a certain graphic brutality. A few red herrings would have given the straight line to resolution more interest and believability; nonetheless, Nick Polo is a welcome addition to the roster of California private eyes from the author of Nobody Wins.