It's 1964 and Elvis is in Las Vegas for a little R&R before starting his next picture, Roustabout. This ought to be a quiet time for the overextended King of Rock 'n' Roll to find his bearings, himself, and maybe, just maybe, his own personal muse.
But a King's work is never done. And before long, Elvis finds himself under immense pressure to find something entirely different: a killer!
When an enormously overweight tourist turns up ritualistically murdered at the billboard for one of Las Vegas's preeminent wedding chapels, Elvis can't help falling into the middle of an inept police investigation. Just before the tourist's death, the Sahara Casino's headline comedian, Howie Pickles, had singled her out for insult jokes at a show that Elvis attended. Immediately, the rumor spreads all over town that Pickles's gags are deadly.
A day later, a second tourist is murdered and conspiracy theories multiply: Is it a hotel and casino war? A war between local wedding chapels? A war between Sin City's major brothels?
Drawn into the case, Elvis finds himself falling in love with a beautiful dancer who lives on a commune for failed showbiz types. He also discovers that a born-again Christian group in town is hailing him as the Second Coming.
As the death toll mounts, Elvis teams up in an unlikely alliance with a pill-popping, enlightenment-seeing Harvard dropout, a Southern belle turned high-class prostitute, and the immensely annoying Howie Pickles himself.
The story climaxes in a "peace concert" that Elvis gives to bring together all the warring factions. But with that concert come some painful - and deadly - revelations.
About Daniel Klein
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Published March 13, 2003
by Minotaur Books.
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction.