Screenwriting teacher Gordon Cantwell's monthly networking party is where Hollywood hopefuls swap ideas and contacts while watching from the corners of their eyes to make sure nobody's climbing the greasy pole faster than they are. It's also where wannabe Raymond Farr, nÇ Reza JaFari, is found dead in the garden, surrounded by suspicious characters: Cantwell's ambitious assistant; Farr's closeted ex-lover; a veteran screenwriter who hasn't written a hit in years; and a crazy passerby who prophesies ``fire in the canyon'' to anybody who'll listen. But homophobic Lt. Claude DeWinter turns a deaf ear to Benjamin Justice, the jaded ex-journalist along for the ride with a crime reporter who thought she was working on a feature on the screenwriting game, when Justice tells him Farr was murdered. It takes a second murder to convince DeWinter--and by then he's already decided that Farr's AIDS-stricken roommate, Daniel Romero, makes the best suspect. Lusting for hustling actor Lawrence Teal (who coolly tells him, ``I appreciate the way you use your dick'') but already in love with Romero, Justice finds himself struggling to vindicate Romero by digging more deeply into the story than he ever would have when he was a working reporter--and uncovering decades of dirty Tinseltown secrets that tie the characters as closely and cruelly together as an infectious disease. A worthy successor to Wilson's Edgar-winning debut (Simple Justice, 1996)--a gay-themed '90s remake of Ross Macdonald's classic The Barbarous Coast.