cover image Skin Deep: A Simeon Grist Suspense Novel

Skin Deep: A Simeon Grist Suspense Novel

Timothy Hallinan. Dutton Books, $18.95 (336pp) ISBN 978-0-525-24978-8

Los Angeles private detective Simeon Grist, seen before in The Four Last Things , stumbles through the smoke-and-mirrors world of television production in his third case. After stopping popular TV series star Toby Vane from beating up his date, Nana, in a bar, Grist is hired by Vane's producer to keep an eye on the actor until the syndication deal for the series goes through. Grist learns that Vane has a history of beating and mutilating women, a past being hushed up to save the deal--and the pots of money for everyone involved. When a friend of Nana's is found dead after being seen with Vane, Grist must determine if Vane is a sadistic killer or the victim of a set-up. Hallinan, partner in a Los Angeles public-relations firm, writes with an insider's authority of such Hollywood mores as name-changing and drug-taking in this tale that seems more an episode from a TV series than a novel. (Apr.)