The daughter of a diplomat disappears on a school field trip--lured into the Santa Monica mountains and killed in cold blood. Her father denies the possibility of a political motive. There are no signs of struggle, no evidence of sexual assault, leaving psychologist Alex Delaware and his friend LAPD homicide detective Milo Sturgis to pose the disturbing question: Why Working together with Daniel Sharavi, the brilliant Israeli police inspector introduced in Jonathan Kellerman's The Butcher's Theater, Delaware and Sturgis soon find themselves ensnared in one of the darkest, most menacing cases of their careers. And when death strikes again, it is Alex who must go undercover, alone, to expose an unthinkable conspiracy of self-righteous brutality and total contempt for human life.
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October 01, 2002
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Excerpt from Survival of the Fittest by Jonathan Kellerman
Hooray for Hollywood.
Brass stars with celebrities' names were inlaid in the sidewalk but the stars of the night were toxin merchants, strong-arm specialists, and fifteen-year-olds running from family values turned vicious.
Open twenty-four hours a day, Go-Ji's welcomed them all. The coffee shop sat on the north side of Hollywood Boulevard, east of Vine, between a tattoo parlor and a thrash-metal bar.
At 3:00 A.M., a Mexican boy was sweeping the sidewalk when Nolan Dahl pulled his cruiser into the front loading zone. The boy lacked documentation but the sight of the policeman didn't alter his rhythm; cops could care less about inmigracion. From what the boy had observed after a month, no one in L.A. cared much about anything.
Nolan Dahl locked the black-and-white and entered the restaurant, sauntering the way only 220 pounds of young, muscular cop laden with baton, belt, radio, flashlight, and holstered nine-millimeter could saunter. The place smelled rancid and the aisle of deep red carpet between the duct-taped orange booths was stained beyond redemption. Dahl settled at the rear, allowing himself a view of the Filipino cashier.
The next booth was occupied by a twenty-three-year-old pimp from Compton named Terrell Cochrane and one of his employees, a chubby sixteen-year-old mother of two named Germadine Batts, formerly of Checkpoint, Oklahoma. Fifteen minutes ago, the two had sat around the corner in Terrell's white Lexus, where Germadine had rolled up a blue, spangled legging and shot fifteen dollars' worth of tar heroin into a faltering ankle vein. Now nicely numbed and hypoglycemic, she was on her second diluted jumbo Coke, sucking ice and fooling with the pink plastic stirrer.