The life of a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon isn't all glamorous indolence—not if the surgeon is 40ish Dr. Gareth Lloyd, whose rounds of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, Scotch and frozen pizza, child visitation and discreet adultery, are rudely interrupted by the shooting of his colleague Dr. Jack Ehrenberger, patron saint of Hollywood faces, upscale art collector, and husband of Lloyd's current mistress. The police are naturally interested in Lloyd's recent activities—but not half as interested as Lloyd, who knows Jack was killed with Lloyd's own gun, is in Jack's once he puts his murder together with the killings two and three months ago of two other plastic surgeons in Texas. Has somebody (somebody like Lloyd's latest client, unsavory Fernando Rojas) declared open season on cosmetic surgeons? As Lloyd grows ever more paranoid—he thinks he's being followed by somebody in a blue Taurus, somebody in a gray suit, somebody with a crew cut, somebody in a dirty white van—his persistent questions, and his dalliance with dazzling collector Miranda Pelton, start to tie Jack's murder in to $10 million in stolen paintings and a white supremacist network, with an offhand kidnapping still to come. One problem Lloyd won't have to worry about: His 40th birthday will be anything but dull. The kitchen-sink plotting and risible motive for the killings sink this first mystery, leaving only a plastic surgeon's endearing pipe-dream of life in the fast lane.
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