Burning Garbo: A Nina Zero Novel (Nina Zero Novels)

Eversz, Robert

Published by Simon & Schuster, 2003
ISBN 10: 0743250133 / ISBN 13: 9780743250139
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Synopsis: Paroled just before her thirtieth birthday for a crime she does not regret, paparazza Nina Zero endeavors to photograph a reclusive film star and finds herself targeted by a supposed bodyguard and investigating a murder.

Review: Lurking on a Malibu hillslope, hoping to catch a shot of film legend Angela Doubleday--who hasn’t been seen in public since a stalker died in her embrace a decade ago--isn’t exactly the way Nina Zero dreamed of spending her 30th birthday. But, as Robert Eversz makes clear in Burning Garbo, this baby photographer-turned-ex-con paparazza can't be overly choosy about her assignments these days. She just didn't expect this one to result in her being attacked by a wild-eyed stranger, then left unconscious as a brushfire consumes the Doubleday estate--and almost her, in the bargain.

Now, under suspicion for both arson and the reclusive actress's murder, Nina can only hope to prove someone else guilty of these crimes. Perhaps the guy who assaulted her, or the George Clooney-lookalike she spotted at Doubleday's place right before the blaze, or the late star's obsequious chauffeur, who may know more about his employer's assets than her accountant did. Not above reproach, either, is Doubleday's principal heir, a previously luckless niece who isn't as immune to avarice as Nina had supposed. With her black dye job and nose stud, and a chip on her shoulder the size of Duluth--the result of an abusive childhood and her misadventures in two previous novels, Shooting Elvis and Killing Paparazzi--Nina Zero isn't the warmest or most well-adjusted fictional protagonist around. ("I'm running from a lot of things," she tells her parole officer. "But I'm not fast enough. Things are catching up.") Yet she's persistent, and with some help from a toothless Rottweiler, a resourceful tabloid reporter, and an unconventional father figure in the form of a retired cop, she just might figure out who did in the "miserable" Doubleday (if she's dead at all), without winding up either back in the slammer or crushed inside a tumbling trailer home.

Less sharp-edged than Killing Paparazzi, Burning Garbo is as much a cleverly constructed mystery as it is a continuation of Nina Zero's search for self-identity. Although the case here is solved with somewhat dubious brilliance, and an extended foray into L.A.'s jail system distracts from the plot's arc, Nina's brassy irreverence and Eversz's taste for savaging the more eccentric elements of Southern California culture make a combustible storytelling combination. --J. Kingston Pierce

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Title: Burning Garbo: A Nina Zero Novel (Nina Zero ...
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 2003
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Good

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