Unfortunately for Lena, though, she knows that best-case scenarios only happen in the movies. The murder is the first in a series of brutal crimes against beautiful women thought to be perpetrated by the same man, a killer dubbed Romeo in the press. It's the case of a lifetime, and promises to either elevate Lena to the upper echelons of a publicity-hungry department in need of heroes, or bring about a very public and painful fall from grace. Lena has been in the public eye before, on the night her rock-star brother was gunned down on a dark street in Hollywood--an unsolved murder so grisly she's never recovered. She knows the score when the press and the LAPD collide.
As the investigation plays out and a massive forest fire blankets the city with acrid smoke, a cloud of conspiracy descends on Lena's investigation, and she knows she'll have to grind this one out . . . because Nikki Brant's death just breathed new life into more than one closed case . . . because the web of conspiracy is spun more intricately than she can possibly imagine . . . and because Lena knows there's only one rock solid rule to murder in L.A.: The bigger the spectacle, the deeper the horror.
Now Lena Gamble is a cop held in disgrace by department higher-ups for the explosive way the Romeo case played out, though she's still hailed as a hero by her colleagues for catching the killer. For her punishment, she hasn't handled a real murder investigation in eight months. When the chief finally tosses her a case, she's thrilled until she gets a look at the scene and realizes he's probably setting her up to be exiled once and for all: The victim is unidentified, and there are no witnesses, and no leads. Just the body, chopped into pieces and dropped in a Dumpster—gruesome enough to ensure that once again the media will be following Lena's every move.
Robert Ellis delivers another high-speed, commercial, powerful read, featuring one of the most engaging and vibrant police characters on the shelf today.