Another novel in the greatest of all post-war American crime series.Cassandra Lee Ridley is an ex-airforce pilot who now scrapes a living flying low-level contraband over the border to Mexico. But when she gets offered a $200,000 contract to fly what she assumes are drugs, she takes a deep breath and agrees to do it. The job goes perfectly, the deliveries are made and the money paid to the Mexican drug lords. One problem though. All $1.7 million dollars of the payment are fake, the Mexicans soon want their money - and Cassandra is their first stop and first fatality. When her naked body is thrown to the lions in a zoo in the 87th Precinct, New York, it becomes Detective Steve Carella's problem . . .