This gripping, darkly funny debut thriller from acclaimed screenwriter Scott Frank is an L.A. story with a little bit of [Elmore] Leonard, a little bit of Day of the Locust, and a whole lot of earthquakes" (Interview).
[R]eally good . . . hit me like a bolt of lightning. If you like Don Winslow or Lou Berney, READ THIS BOOK!--Stephen King via Twitter
Roy Cooper, a stoic, unassuming "errand runner" for New York criminals, is finishing up a job in Los Angeles a week after a powerful earthquake has wreaked havoc on the city. Wandering the streets of North Hollywood while looking for his car, Roy runs into four teenage gangbangers and finds himself in the last place he wants to be: the middle of another killing. A mugging goes awry, and a passing jogger--who turns out to be a prominent mayoral candidate--dies. Roy himself is shot twice and hospitalized in critical condition. A local resident catches the whole thing on camera in a video that goes viral. And Roy, by some twist of fate, comes out looking like the hero, losing the hit man's greatest weapon: anonymity. Roy's newfound fame draws unlikely characters into his orbit: Kelly Maguire, a disgraced LAPD detective with an anger management problem; Science, a young gang leader who needs Roy to keep quiet about what he's seen; Mayor Miguel Santiago, who faces accusations that he's just had his opponent whacked; and, most chillingly, Albert Budin, a dangerous man from Roy's past who's just learned that his old acquaintance is still alive.