Don’t mess with the hothead—or he might just mess with you. Slater Ibáñez is only interested in two kinds of guys: the ones he wants to punch, and the ones he sleeps with. Things get interesting when they start to overlap. A freelance investigator, Slater trolls the dark side of Los Angeles, rooting out insurance fraud, not afraid to use whatever means necessary to get things done, and not about to hold back with his fists. A queer antihero for a new age, Slater walks the line between ordinary life and the frayed fringes of society, keeping his balance with the back-channel support he gets from his idiot cop ex-boyfriend, Conrad, and regular squeeze Andy.
While navigating a torrid affair with Pike, a hookup from a past job, Slater gets brought in on a case by Chila, an insurance company staffer. Like flexing a disused muscle, the romance dredges up things long forgotten, and Slater upends his life—moving house and making radical changes in his bad habits as he falls deeper into what he calls his “narrative complex” with Pike. On the insurance job Slater soon decides he’s been misled, as his client’s explanations start to look more improbable. Tracking down the beneficiary, Slater wades into the world of LA’s classic nightclubs and big bands, tangling with a femme fatale, a slick crooner, and a seedy crypto bro. When he uncovers the real reason Chila has him bird-dogging her target, he’s forced to choose where his loyalty lies. Slater manages to concoct intricate vengeance on the one who messed with him, but will his angry machinations mean he’s the one who winds up in jail instead?