Now that she’s cleaned up the City of Angels (Savage Garden, 2005, etc.), Hamilton’s bulldog reporter plunges into the history of the Cold War and her own family.
Finally assigned to the Metro section of the L.A. Times, Eve Diamond is sent to Griffith Park to check out a mountain-lion sighting. But the corpse she finds has been dispatched by a bullet. Nobody has a bad word to say for the victim, surfer Dennis Lukin. In fact, nobody—not his grieving parents, not his best friend, not his older brother Nicolai—wants to say much at all to Eve, even though somebody (the Mafia? the KGB? the CIA?) is evidently bent on destroying his terrified father’s family. What secret from the past is so dire that Sasha Lukin would rather see his sons die than reveal it? Eve works her contacts to the bone in her attempt to get the story, even though she’s distracted by the unwelcome attention of two very different men, flirtatious Times reporter Josh Brandywine and Mischa Tsipin, a voluble illegal immigrant who assures her in charmingly fractured English that he’s her long-lost cousin. In the end, when Eve has morphed from canny reporter to nitwit damsel-in-distress, salvation will come from an unexpected quarter.
As always, the search for the truth will mean digging deep into the suspects’ lives. Readers may wonder, however, why the reporter’s stories increasingly turn out to be all about Eve.