Eccentric private eye Charlie Waldo is back in another wildly fun and fast-paced thriller lampooning Southern California.
Former LAPD detective Charlie Waldo was living in solitude deep in the woods, pathologically committed to owning no more than one hundred possessions, until his PI ex-girlfriend Lorena dragged him back to civilization to solve a high-profile Hollywood murder. Now Waldo and Lorena have their hands full with a new client, a wild and privileged L.A. teenager named Stevie Rose who tells lies as easily as she breathes.
When the teacher Stevie claims seduced her turns up dead, the LAPD pegs her as the prime suspect. Then Stevie disappears, and her self-involved Hollywood parents turn to Waldo to find her—a task that draws him down into Orange County’s dangerous and complex worlds, both opulent and seedy, where nothing is as it seems.
With treachery and deception at every turn, and with Waldo’s eco-obsessed rules for living complicating his already complicated relationship with Lorena, Waldo fends off enemies old and new as he races to find Stevie and solve the murder.
In Gould's rollicking sequel to 2018's Last Looks, Stevie Rose, a wealthy 15-year-old girl, hires PI Charlie Waldo, a former LAPD detective, and Lorena, Charlie's boss and girlfriend, to find her missing brother, Terrence. Stevie says Terrence, a UCLA grad student, became her guardian two years earlier, after their parents died in a car crash, and she's worried that he's been hanging out with a high school teacher, Victor Ouelette, who's been supplying him with drugs. When Waldo visits Ouelette, the teacher claims he's never heard of Terrence. Meanwhile, Lorena discovers UCLA has no record of him. The pair soon realize that Stevie is telling them mostly lies. When Ouelette is murdered, Stevie vanishes, making her the prime suspect. An ecological extremist, Waldo owns only a "Hundred Things" and refuses to use cars whenever possible, which often puts him at odds with the materialistic Lorena. Though Gould's jaunty tone sometimes clashes with the story's grim content, the entertaining characters are enough to keep readers turning the pages. Fans of quirky PIs will find lots to like.