Fauna Hodel is a teenage girl who is given away at birth, and grows up outside of Reno, Nevada. Fauna lives more-or-less comfortably with the mysteries of her origin, until one day she makes a discovery that leads her to question everything. As Fauna begins to investigate the secrets of her past, she meets a ruined reporter, haunted by the case that undid him. Together they follow a sinister trail that swirls ever closer to an infamous Los Angeles gynecologist, Dr. George Hodel, a man involved in some of Hollywood's darkest debauchery, and possibly, its most infamous unsolved crime.
Fauna Hodel, a naïve girl growing up in mid-sixties Reno, Nevada embarks on a quest to discover who she really is. In Los Angeles, a soldier recently-returned from the Korean war—and now a hack reporter—covers a gruesome murder.
Fauna attempts to track down her family, including her mysterious grandfather, George Hodel. Jay continues his pursuit of the Bloody Romeo, but he can't let go of the story that ruined his career—a story that involved George.
A visit from Billis and the LAPD leaves Jay wondering how close he's getting to the truth. Fauna must reconcile Corinna's revelations with the suspicion that Corinna is hiding Fauna's mother.
As Jay edges closer to the truth, he begins to realise the MO for the case he's looking at has more than a passing resemblance to the Black Dahlia murder. Fauna receives a mysterious invitation to a 'Happening' and, hoping for further information about her mother, heads to it.
With an address in hand, Fauna and Jay head to Hawaii to find Tamar—where Fauna hopes to of find some answers about who she is. Jay hopes to discover why the Hodel story he wrote ruined his career.
When Fauna hears what happened to Jimmy Lee, she frantically searches for a way home. As Watts explodes around her into chaotic riots, Fauna’s way out harbors a nightmarish trap. Jay stews in a cell that overflows with rioters, his options diminishing as the hours pass, until he hatches a desperate plan.