The crime scene was like something out of a horror movie. Billboard tycoon Oliver Mercer has been brutally slain in his home in the Pasadena hills, joined in death by his long-legged trophy girlfriend-both of their bodies displayed in a chilling tableau. The murder scene reawakens terrible memories for homicide detective Nan Vining, who survived her own harrowing attack a year earlier. While tracking the taunting gameplayer her daughter Emily dubbed T. B. Mann-The Bad Man-she is now working the Mercer case alongside her ex-flame Jim Kissick, stirring up conflicted feelings in her. From the ritzy estates of L.A.'s Lamborghini-driving set to a rocky desert outpost where rattlesnakes whisper murder, Nan will risk both her badge and her heart on a case that cuts close to the bone.