Gavin Sasaki is a promising young journalist in New York City, until he's fired in disgrace following a series of unforgivable lapses in his work. It's early 2009, and the world has gone dark very quickly; the economic collapse has turned an era that magazine headlines once heralded as the second gilded age into something that more closely resembles the Great Depression. The last thing Gavin wants is to return to his hometown of Sebastian, Florida, but he's drifting toward bankruptcy and is in no position to refuse when he's offered a job by his sister, Eilo, a real estate broker who deals in foreclosed homes.
Eilo recently paid a visit to a home that had a ten-year-old child in it, a girl who bears a strong resemblence to Gavin and who has the same last name as Gavin's high school girlfriend Anna, whom Gavin last saw a decade ago. Gavin -- a former jazz musician, a reluctant broker of foreclosed homes, obsessed with film noir and private detectives -- begins his own private investigation in an effort to track down Anna and their apparent daughter.
The Lola Quartet, a work of literary noir, is concerned with jazz, Django Reinhardt, economic collapse, friendship and love, Florida's exotic wildlife problem, the leavening of the contemporary world, fedoras, and the unreliability of memory.