Until the helicopter crash, Jill Smith never knew fear. A homicide detective in the leftist enclave of Berkeley, California, she has faced down her share of thugs, thieves, and killers, but since surviving the downed helicopter, her nerves have been shot. Unwilling to submit to her anxiety, she goes back to work.
The chef and owner of Paradise, an upscale restaurant in Berkeley’s so-called “Gourmet Ghetto,” is found on the floor of his own kitchen, poisoned by the soup he was seasoning. On his way to the top of the foodie pyramid, the chef made enemies of his dishwasher, his neighbors, and Earth Man, a hippie holdout who lives on kitchen scraps. To pinpoint the killer, Jill will have to remember what it means to be fearless.