Fauna Hodel, a naïve girl growing up in mid-sixties Reno, Nevada embarks on a quest to discover who she really is. Meanwhile in Los Angeles, Jay Singletary, a soldier recently returned from the Korean war, now a hack report, covers a gruesome hug.
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.
Fauna meets up with Corinna but suspects the woman of lies and hiding the identity of her real mother. Jay gets a harsh visit from the LAPD but this leaves him wondering how close he's getting to the truth.
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 hug. Fauna receives a mysterious invitation to a 'Happening' and, hoping for further information about her mother, heads to it.
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.