Denise Hamilton, Author . Scribner $22 (336p) ISBN 978-0-7432-6192-0

Hamilton's fictional counterpart, L.A. Times reporter Eve Diamond (The Jasmine Trade , etc.), investigates another murder in California's melting pot. When unpredictable actress Catarina Velosi fails to show up for her play's premiere, Eve and her boyfriend, Silvio Aguilar, are dispatched to find her. Bloodstains in Catarina's Echo Park apartment lead Eve to suspect foul play—and the police to suspect Silvio. Eve's got an unwelcome sidekick in Felice Morgan, a slick young African-American reporter with hot credentials. Is Felice another Jayson Blair? Is Silvio tied to the murder? Eve and Felice pursue the case, interviewing Catarina's old drama teacher, the alcoholic wife of the playwright, an assemblyman's flirtatious assistant, a drug-dealing neighbor and a Hollywood mogul, among others. Like Raymond Chandler, Hamilton describes California in gritty, lyrical prose; like Sue Grafton, she shows a tough-skinned, tenderhearted heroine breaking a few rules, if not a few bones. Hamilton humanizes Eve through her personal ties to the murder and her professional doubts about Felice; she enriches the novel's atmosphere with music (the title comes from a song playing ominously in Catarina's apartment) and coastal landscapes. Hamilton's social insights about race and success may not always feel profound, but her compassion for her characters and knowledge of their worlds make her novel compelling reading. Agent, Anne Borchardt. 7-city author tour. (May)

Reviewed on: 02/28/2005
Release date: 05/01/2005
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 323 pages - 978-0-7528-7253-7
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-7432-7290-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 349 pages - 978-0-7434-9271-3
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-1-4767-9132-6
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