Sabotage threatens the profits of industrial giant McAllister Enterprises. Twice already, accounting errors have forced the company to drop out of $100 million deals, and both times a competing firm, the Aegis Group, swooped in to take over. The CEO suspects industrial espionage, and the obvious suspect is division director Austin Haas, who declined a job offer from Aegis six months ago but may be working for them from the inside. Before firing Haas, the CEO wants to be sure. In this industry, when you want to be sure, you call Devlin Kirk.
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Devlin Kirk and his partner Bunchcroft are Denver's finest industrial security experts, even if Denver doesn't see it that way. Their last big case got them out of debt, but since then the well has been dry. Their firm is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy when Nestor Calamaro, a young illegal immigrant whose family is close to Bunch, disappears. Kirk can't afford any pro bono work, but Bunch talks him into the good deed. Missing persons cases are usually simple. This one is not.
Kirk watches nervously as a new employee goes undercover with a drug ring. The employees at the Advantage Company have started to steal. They are angrier than they used to be, and also clumsier - accident reports have spiked. To Devlin Kirk, these are telltale signs of on-the-job drug abuse. Hired by Advantage to smash the drug ring that's sprung up inside its factory, Kirk sends his newest employee, earnest farm boy Chris Newman, to infiltrate the company.