Celebrity Skin (Book 12)

A smoking hole gapes where the sitcom couch had been. A black flutter that fills most of the camera frame. The actor lies in the foreground, sprawling on the scorched carpet. Broken. Blurred. Red. All the viewer can make out is what’s left of his legs.

Lights. Camera. Violence.

When a homemade explosive device detonates on the set of a network sitcom, FBI profiler Violet Darger heads to Hollywood to investigate. Her gut tells her this is only the first of what will be multiple attacks.

Her gut is right.

Darger enters the strange world of the studio lot. Elaborate sets surround her. Actors and crew members stream past in all directions. The excitement vibrates in the air — the passion necessary to capture the collective dreams of a culture within the lens of a camera.

But up close the sets look fake, and the cynicism behind those dreams comes clear. The ugly reality doesn’t match the way things seem on screen.

Darger works the clues. Digs into the dirt of the victims. Penetrates the psychology of the perpetrator.

The serial bomber might be a name from her past. Might be.

The revolution will be etched into celebrity skin.

But every turn seems to run her up against fresh danger, fresh obstacles. And the pessimism that pervades Los Angeles seems to win out over and over.

And all the while, the clock is ticking. By the time Darger closes in on the bomber, it might be too late.