Former LAPD detective Charlie Waldo was living in solitude deep in the woods, pathologically committed to owning no more than one hundred possessions, until his PI ex-girlfriend Lorena dragged him back into civilization to solve a high-profile Hollywood murder. Now, Lorena's pulled him into a new case, and they have their hands full with their client, a wild and privileged L.A. teenager named Stevie Rose who tells lies as easily as she breathes. Waldo and Lorena quickly learn that the investigation was, for Stevie, all a manipulation to scare her high school teacher, whom she claims seduced her—and when the teacher turns up dead, Waldo's old LAPD nemesis pegs Stevie as the prime suspect. Then Stevie disappears, and her self-involved Hollywood parents turn to Waldo to find her, a task that draws Waldo down into Orange County's dangerous and complex worlds, both opulent and seedy, where nothing is as it seems. With treachery and deception at every turn, and with Waldo's eco-obsessed rules for living complicating his already complicated relationship with Lorena, Waldo fends off enemies old and new as he races to find Stevie and solve the murder.