A very successful mortician has a sideline robbing legitimate drug shipments--he waters them down and puts them in caskets destined for South America. Usually, his two squabbling associates carry out the robberies, but this time he's convinced by his wife to include her dull-witted brother, who goes on a daylight heist and murders a security guard. The associates kidnap McCloud at the Statue of Liberty and hold him for ransom in exchange for the brother.
A former student (Rick Weaver in the first of five annual appearances) is accused of the fatal stabbing of his ex-violin teacher, but the murder was actually a hit -- a "reformed" mobster and his lawyer, ambitious for political office, are trying to smoke out the violinist's identical twin brother, a thug with almost no redeeming qualities, to waste him before he goes honest and spills the beans about other crimes.
When a police patrol officer is killed in a grenade ambush, McCloud finds out the cop was using blackmail -- including a Broadway theatrical producer (Uncle Miltie!) to advance the career of his daughter.
When McCloud, on stakeout at a grocery store, spots a suspect in a three-year-old Taos bank robbery-bombing and arrests him, the thief's accomplices pull every trick in the book to spring or kill the robber.