Third in the lippy, seamy-side-of-L.A. series featuring p.i. Simeon Grist (Everything but the Squeal, The Four Last Things), now hired to keep TV adventure hero Toby Vane's real life from making the papers-or the police blotter: Toby like to beat up nude dancers. When one dies, Grist's job takes on a new dimension: find out who pulverized her. Among the possibilities are the mammoth Tiny, manager of the club where the first victim- and then the second-dance; the coked-up girls (Cinnamon, Chili, Pepper, et al.); Nana, the Korean beauty saved from a bar-beating at Toby's hands; assorted TV nabobs, including Dixie, who neglects to mention that his own daughter was one of Toby's victims. With side trips to aroma-therapy boutiques, S&M premises, and apartments with wall-to-wall coke caches, Grist finally sorts through the murders-and engineers a final blackmail setup. Gutsy, vibrant language and narrative drive, for a sharp noir L.A. portrait, but women may find the subject exploitive.