Robert Eversz's edgy and endearing heroine Nina Zero is back...and this time she's embroiled in her most dangerous case ever -- investigating L.A.'s underground S&M scene while getting caught up in sex, lies, and babysitting.
It's opening night of Nina Zero's first gallery show, and her staged photographs of Hollywood pulp scenes are attracting the interest of actual art connoisseurs, not just the usual gossip rag readership. But the excitement of the evening shifts to alarm when Nina receives an anonymous package containing an amateur bondage video that may have ended in death. As she and her editor at Scandal Times watch the rape and strangling of a young woman, Nina Zero recognizes a distinctive tattoo on the woman's right shoulder, and suddenly realizes why one of her models has missed the opening.
Who sent the tape? And more important, what happened to the woman? Nina starts investigating her model and discovers a parallel life of S&M phone sex, blogs written in code, an illicit relationship with a celebrity hypnotherapist, and ties to the son of a billionaire film director. Her Scandal Times coverage of the case enrages the LAPD and attracts death threats from anonymous sources. Luckily, Nina has her trusted (but toothless) Rottweiler by her side, as well as a sexy but mysterious detective who keeps landing in her bed. Just when events begin to spin from her control, Nina's deeply dysfunctional family enters the fray, making life even more complicated for this ex-con with a soft heart and a chip on her shoulder.
Set in a vividly sunny and sinister Los Angeles, Zero to the Bone is the best (and sexiest) Nina Zero novel yet.
Eversz hits the jackpot in his fifth Nina Zero mystery (after 2005's Digging James Dean) as his Hollywood tabloid photographer with the unsavory past confronts various challenges and emerges irrevocably changed but still standing. Nina (n e Mary Alice Baker) is on the cusp of a breakthrough an exhibition of her edgy photography at an art gallery when she receives what appears to be a snuff film, whose victim has a Betty Boop tattoo exactly like one borne by Nina's featured model. Nina's quest for a killer sucks her into a maelstrom of perversion, crime and corruption. The fundamentally decent Nina has a toe in the "normal" world, but her status as an ex-con and parolee, her issues with her estranged and abusive father, even her fragile relationship with her young niece, all threaten to pull her back into the muck. This compelling, nerve-wracking, draining novel will leave readers hungry for the next in the series.