Fans of series ``hero'' Mark Shigata, police chief of Bayport, Texas, will appreciate his fourth appearance. Murder accompanies the hotly contested opening of a religious theme park by a local TV evangelist when police find the partially consumed remains of a city councilwoman in the park's alligator pit; later, children chance upon the body of a well-known animal-rights activist. As usual, the author goes long on conversation to the detriment of atmosphere and detail, but the principal characters remain amiable enough. For followers or the easily pleased only. An improvement over Death by Deception ( LJ 11/1/88).