by Bruce TierneyFebruary, 2006
It all adds up for Zero
Gen-X PI Nina Zero returns in Robert Eversz's edgy and original Zero to the Bone. As the novel opens, parolee paparazza Zero readies herself for her first solo gallery show, an exhibition of photographs in the pulp Hollywood mode. She shows up at the opening overdressed (for her) in a black cocktail dress, rhinestone nose stud, black leather jacket and Doc Martens. To her surprise (and glee), her photos are well-received by local art connoisseurs, not just the tabloid readers who have long been her primary customers. Her joy is short-lived: on opening night she receives an unmarked DVD which appears to be a bondage-themed snuff film. The subject of the film is one of the models for the noirish pictures in Zero's show. Worst fears are soon realized, as the body of the young actress turns up in a manzanita-ridden canyon in the Santa Monica mountains. Forbidden by the conditions of her parole (for her part in blowing up a terminal at LAX) against interfering in police investigations, Zero nonetheless determines to find out who sent her the DVD and who killed her friend. Her journey will take her through the proverbial seamy underbelly of Hollywood: the sex trade, the quack therapy industry, the sordid side of the movie business (not to mention frequent, and occasionally intimate, brushes with the law). Zero to the Bone will be a favorite with longtime Eversz readers, and should attract quite a number more into the fold.