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In the Hollywood Division of the L.A.P.D., chief of detectives Ivor Maddox and his team have their hands full. There are the routine cases, including the TV actress who overdoses on drugs and alcohol. There are the more complex cases, such as armed robber Dapper Dan, who always says thank you as he takes the cash.

And then there are the really bizarre ones: the body that turns up in pieces all over Hollywood; the midget burglar who keeps getting in through seemingly impossible spaces; and the poisoning of hamburger meat in a chain of supermarkets, which leads to a series of random deaths.

‘My favourite American crime-writer’ New York Herald Tribune