The power of celebrity comes under scrutiny in this installment of the Elvis Cole series. During a high profile murder investigation, Cole "breaks" the case. A wealthy restauranteur is blamed for his wife's death, and hires one of the best attorney's in Southern California, who in turn hires Elvis. Even Lucy Chenier, Cole's girlfriend from Louisiana, is impressed by Cole's new boss.
While researching tips from a 1-800 tip line, Cole stumbles onto the killers of Susan Martin. But, as the prosecution presents their case it discredits one Angela Rossi of the Los Angeles police department. Cole, in fact, is hired to verify the validity of her testimony. Is she an overly ambitious detective willing to plant evidence to further her career? She shares a past with Joe Pike, which of course makes Cole suspicious of the mudslinging aimed at her.
When not investigating, Lucy and Elvis try to cement their relationship. She thinks of moving to LA, he has thoughts of moving to Baton Rouge. It is a relationship that will continue to burgeon, until its fateful climax in LA Requiem, which makes their happiness bittersweet when reading this story.
After "breaking" the case initially, Elvis learns that the publicity he earned while talking to the press is a two edged sword. It strokes his ego, but it also traps him into a situation in which he has to face public humiliation. Cole, of course, chooses hardship over the easy street, but the ending doesn't end as he hopes it will. Celebrity can put you under public scrutiny, but it can hide things as well. And what a better backdrop for that than Los Angeles?
All text (C) 2000 LCB
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