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Digging James Dean

Digging James Dean

(2005)
(The fourth book in the Nina Zero series)
A novel by

 
"You're a sucker for lost creatures, aren't you?" a colleague remarks to L.A. tabloid photographer Nina Zero, as she tries to steer a young runaway and actress-wannabe clear of trouble, in Robert Eversz's Digging James Dean. What begins as an act of charity, though--a chance for the tough-hided and perspicacious, but lonely ex-con paparazza to aid another female at loose ends in the world--soon lands Nina in the quirky company of space-alien worshippers, fugitive teenage cultists, and grave robbers intent on plundering the mortal remains of immortal Hollywood icons.

Our heroine (last seen in Burning Garbo) doesn't really have time to worry about 15-year-old Theresa, a celebrity-obsessed Midwesterner whose lukewarm tip about a has-been screen hunk results in Nina being roughed up, her cameras trashed; she already has her own problems. The prominently pierced photog is being evicted from her Venice Beach apartment; her long-abused mother has just perished from a stroke; and her elder sister, whom she hasn't seen in 24 years, has barely reappeared in her life, before she rips Nina off for $19,000--and is beaten to death during a raid on the crypt of silent-movie legend Rudolph Valentino. That last crime seems ideal fare for Scandal Times, the sensationalistic journal from which Nina draws her paychecks--especially since it follows an assault on the Indiana grave of actor James Dean, who died in a 1955 highway accident. But as Nina struggles to exorcise her grief and anger through decisive action, by exposing Hollywood's enigmatic Church of Divine Thespians, executing a Rockford-style desert car rescue, and fleeing a blaze meant to send her to her own last reward, she unearths a tale so outlandish as to amaze even jaded Scandal Times readers. And the fatally naïve Theresa sits at the center of it all.

Eversz hit a pell-mell storytelling pace with Burning Garbo, which he maintains in this clever sequel. He capitalizes nicely on the lore and landmarks of Los Angeles, and over the course of four hip mysteries (beginning with 1996's Shooting Elvis) has developed a punk protagonist intrepid enough to draw reader attention, and compassionate enough to hold onto it. Though the mastermind behind Digging James Dean's bloodshed boasts all the subtlety of a Bela Lugosi villain, Nina Zero's relentless pursuit of her sibling's slayer makes this wild ride worthwhile. It may even owe a debt to Dean himself, who said, "Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today." --J. Kingston Pierce"A death in the family reunites ex-con turned paparazza Nina Zero with her long-lost sister, who now touts herself as a successful real estate agent from Seattle. Who cares if the sister looks like she's lived a life as battered and fake as the designer-brand luggage she totes? With an abusive father and sweet but distant mother, Nina has been estranged from her family for so long she's happy to have a relative she can talk to. And Nina is too busy to question her sister's tale, because an altercation with a has-been Hollywood action hero leaves her with a concussion, two broken cameras, and a hot lead in the grandmother of all tabloid stories- -- the mysterious thefts of celebrity bones from graveyards around the country.Are the bone robbers kids playing games with the devil? Cult scientists intent on cloning dead movie stars? Or members of the Church of Divine Thespians, a shadowy Hollywood sect that may be plotting some unholy ritual? In the world of tabloid reporting, the impossible is not only possible, it's required. Not being famous is worse than being dead in Hollywood, where the bones of dead celebrities are literally worth killing for. Murder follows an unexpected betrayal, and Nina's quest for the grave robbers twists from the tabloid assignment to a grief-stricken vendetta that matches her camera against their guns, shot for shot. With her sidekick Frank -- a slovenly assassin of celebrity reputations -- and her beloved toothless Rottweiler in tow, Nina returns to the page in an emotionally riveting tabloid thriller fit to please her own cultish following. "

 
Used availability for Robert Eversz's Digging James Dean


See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 

Hardback Editions

February 2005 : USA Hardback
Title: Digging James Dean: A Nina Zero Novel
Author(s): Robert Eversz
ISBN: 0-7432-5015-X / 978-0-7432-5015-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

May 2006 : USA Paperback
Title: Digging James Dean: A Nina Zero Novel
Author(s): Robert Eversz
ISBN: 0-7432-5016-8 / 978-0-7432-5016-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

February 2005 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
Title: Digging James Dean: A Nina Zero Novel
Author(s): Robert Eversz
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   

February 2005 : UK Kindle edition
Title: Digging James Dean: A Nina Zero Novel
Author(s): Robert Eversz
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Availability: Amazon UK   



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