Cool-handed and strong, series detective Dan Roman ( The Burned Woman, LJ 5/1/89, Natural Prey, et al. ) tracks a rich-kid runaway (female and pregnant) 12 years after the fact. The woman's mother, feeble and blind but still outspoken, wants the family money in family hands when she dies. Roman pursues information on Loretta Arganian (a.k.a. Nancy Taylor) from Texas to Nevada to Tennessee and back, uncovering evidence of a lesbian relationship, a porno-film career, and a possible murder. Mathis writes with a clear sense of direction, eliminating unnecessary verbiage, and provides evocative descriptions. His plot has bite and an ironic slant. A good choice.