"A new Paretsky novel is a wonderful treat and this one does not disappoint.'"
This story starts with a bang as V.I. Warshawski cradles a dying woman in her arms. The murder has taken place outside a night club with a very bizarre act - a young woman invites the audience to use her naked body as a canvas. Responses vary from the embarrassed, to the crude, to the deeply significant. The victim had been a regular contributor to the show, painting complex and beautiful designs on the bare flesh. These designs seem to have upset one of the Iraq veterans who is already suffering from the trauma of his war service. He becomes the immediate suspect and is arrested and confined in a prison hospital.
Warshawski was present, as her wayward young cousin has a part time job in the club. V.I. is engaged by the veteran’s family to clear his name. As a first move she has him transferred to the Beth Israel hospital where long term friend and mentor, Lotty, can supervise his care. As Warshawski investigates deeply into the workings of the club and the motivations of the audience, she uncovers many unsavoury and disturbing truths involving big business and the criminal world.