A dead prostitute leads a gang of cops on a wild international chase
In death she looks 35, but Missy Moonbeam, a.k.a. Thelma Bernbaum, is only 22 when the cops of Rampart Division find her flattened on the sidewalk. A Nebraska farm girl, Missy came to Los Angeles to act, and died not long after her dream did. The detectives assume that her pimp threw her off a roof - but they couldn’t be more wrong. Missy had a trick at Caltech whose name draws the Rampart detectives into a bizarre conspiracy. A beached Soviet sub has Europe on the brink of war, and only Rampart Division can pull the world back from disaster.
They are a motley gang. There’s the Bad Czech, a certifiable psychopath whose chief pleasure is yelling at the Los Angeles Times. There’s Mario Villalobos, whose midlife crisis has made him sentimental. And there’s Jane Wayne, a New Wave fan, sex addict, and proudly violent cop. This case will take them all the way to Stockholm, but they won’t win any Nobel Peace Prize.
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- A. K. Brewer "California"