Shooting Elvis

Robert Eversz, Author
Robert Eversz, Author Grove/Atlantic $21 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1582-9
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
Sometimes too much uncommon adventure can only be described as common. Bored with her job as a kiddie photographer and lured by the promise of extra cash, Mary Alice Baker delivers a briefcase for her biker boyfriend, Wrex, to a man in the L.A. Airport. The exchange leaves her with a large locked case-contents unknown but certainly illegal-and the shocking blame of accidentally blowing up LAX with a bomb cached in the briefcase. Mary escapes the wreckage and holes up in a motel where she pierces her nose, dyes her hair jet-black and reinvents herself as Nina Zero. Nina's run-from the law, notoriety and the scam ring intent upon retrieving the locked case and eliminating her-brings her into contact with several classic L.A. types. Billy b, her roommate-turned-boyfriend who paints huge canvases of American kitsch symbols, and neurotic screenwriter Cass scheme to turn Nina into their ticket to fame. Ben and Jerry, hard-nosed, small-time PIs who employ Nina, help her dodge the law as she contrives to remain free and nab her stalkers. Throughout, Nina longs for home-despite her abusive father to whom she credits her violent ""talents""-and laments the loss of trust in a world where turning a buck and getting the right press are key. This story aspires to be sharp, wry and brilliant and at times attains a legitimate glimmer. For the most part, however, like the smog and crime of L.A. itself, it rolls on predictably if somewhat distressingly. Film rights to Wild Wolf Productions (Apr.)