A stalker slaying modeled on the 1989 murder of television actress Rebecca Schaeffer forms the basis of this taut crime yarn set in 1992 against the turmoil of the Los Angeles riots that followed the acquittal of the police officers charged with assaulting motorist Rodney King. PI Duke Rogers views his life as a succession of failures—and those culminate with an error in judgment that leads to murder. When a squirrelly man named Jim Talbot hires Rogers to track down his friend Teddie Matson, the sleuth uses a source at the Department of Motor Vehicles to get Matson's address. But a week later, Rogers is horrified to learn that Matson, an actress, was shot to death in her home—and the PI is sure all the evidence points to Talbot. Pressured by his friend at the DMV to come forward, Rogers decides to close the case himself. Rogers's powerful guilt over Matson's death successfully drives the plot, and the author ably evokes the chaos that erupted after the Rodney King verdict.