A hundred pound Klieg light falls from a light bar thirty feet above a movie sound stage at a D.C. filming location, crushing a driver, Jerry Blackwell, to a gruesome, bloody and horrible death. The medical examiner first ruled the death was accidental. Jake Curtis and Vanessa Malone, private investigators who are now also paid consulting detectives to the D.C. Police, are hired by the widow to find out what exactly happened to cause her husband's death.
Reinvestigation at the behest of the widow revealed the clamp holding the light to the light bar shows signs of being cut almost completely through. The answer lies somewhere between D.C. and Hollywood.
Jake and Vanessa's natural curiosity and sense of right and wrong demands they find out if the tragedy was a freak accident as the medical examiner originally stated, or a cold blooded murder. Their investigation, along with police detective Bob Murdoch take them through the maze of L.A. police corruption, theft of official police arrest reports, lying, blackmailing the beneficiaries of the stolen records into doing what the mastermind wanted and other strong arm tactics.
Everybody at the unfinished filming still in D.C. have been eliminated as suspects. This means the killer is back in L.A.
As the filming ended and the L.A. cast and crew head back to L.A., Murdoch convinces the D.C. Chief of Detectives the crime will go unsolved unless somebody from D.C. goes to Hollywood. Murdoch is assigned to go and takes Jake and Vanessa with him. Two former D.C. detectives, now detectives with the LAPD homicide unit, are assigned to provide the D.C. visitors an L.A. police presence while investigating in their city.
They travel around L.A. collecting bits and pieces of information from a lot of people who worked at the D.C. shoot but, left the filming before the investigation starter in earnest. Through out their talks, no suspect popped to the forefront. They talk with a man on parole who left California without letting his PO know. A script girl who was above being blackmailed and went to school with the studio owner's daughter, Valarie. She introduced Jake Vanessa and Murdoch to Valarie. Valarie is married to the picture's executive producer.
They talk with a young recent graduate from UCLA Film school on his first job doing grunt work at the D.C. shoot. This recent graduate provided a general body size description of a person he saw late at night making cutting motions up near the light that fell. He couldn't get a good look at the man's face or clothing in the dark.
Each person they talked to, led them closer to the killer until they met Danica Winters, a makeup artist whose arrest report was stolen. The mastermind coerced her into an unwanted sexual relationship until coming up with another plan for her. The mastermind forced her to cut the clamp. If she didn't her arrest report would mysteriously reappear and she would be rearrested and sent to prison. Danica didn't ask why the mastermind wanted the clamp cut and the mastermind didn't confide the reason to her.
Who was the mastermind and why was the clamp cut? Vanessa added another career to her resume. What career did she add?