the morning of her 30th birthday, Nina Zero scales the Malibu
hillside above the estate of a reclusive film star who hasn’t
been seen in a decade. Within the next few hours, a man she takes
for a bodyguard tries to kill her, she flees a brushfire that
torches the star’s estate, a toothless Rottweiller adopts
her as his new best friend, and an arson investigator decides
to prove she set the fireto photograph the results.
Accompanied by the toothless Rott, Zero goes
on the hunt, compelled to prove that someone else set the fire
before the cops jail her for the crime of arson and - when charred
bones are discovered in the ashes of the star’s estate -
murder. The killers are equally interested in finding her, and
their desperation escalates to a bone-chilling series of violent
encounters, in which Nina plays hunter one moment and prey the
Amid the mayhem, she finds supporters - a diminutive
heiress, a tough-love parole officer, a tabloid news reporter,
and a retired sheriff deputy - who help her discover the truth
not just about the crime, but also about herself.
has a superb sense of place that's perfectly matched by his
plotting and characterization in a book with action and psychological
depth. "Burning Garbo" is rich, rewarding crime fiction
by an author who should be much better known.
is such a sad, funny, companionable voice, and Eversz's L.A.
is a noir-lover's neon dream. What's most compelling in Burning
Garbo is the way character, whether remaining constant or changing,
both drives the story and is itself a kind of metabolizing,
breathing organism... Eversz's other main character, of course,
is the city of Los Angeles, about which nobody writing today
is as sweetly lethal...
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