Zero Effect (1998) - Plot Summary Poster


Plot Summary

  • Daryl Zero is a private investigator. Along with his assistant, Steve Arlo he solves impossible crimes and puzzles. Though a master investigator, when he is not working, Zero doesn't know what to do with himself. He has no social skills, writes bad music, and drives Arlo crazy. In his latest case, Zero must find out who is blackmailing a rich executive, and when his client won't tell him, why. The only problem with this case is Zero has done something he's never done before: got emotionally involved.

    - Written by MartianWax
  • Daryl Zero is an enigma. In his personal life, he is a paranoid, anti-social recluse whose sole interaction is with his business associate. In his professional life, he is the most famous and best private investigator in the world who can command any fee he desires. His anti-social behavior extends to his work, which means that all his transactions are conducted through his exasperated representative and sole field agent, former lawyer Steve Arlo, who often wonders if it is worth working for who he considers a total freak for the price of his sanity. Zero can often solve his cases from the comfort of his own home using his extraordinary powers of deduction - which he attributes to two associated "obs": objectivity and observation - but when he is required to do field work, he always does so incognito, he convincingly assuming whatever role required. His latest client is Portland based timber baron Gregory Stark, who is being blackmailed ($700,000 which Stark has thus far paid out, with no end in sight to the payments), with the blackmailer also having stolen a key to Stark's safety deposit box. Stark refuses to disclose the nature of the supposed dirt the blackmailer has on him, or the contents of the safety deposit box, which he states has no bearing on the case. Arlo believes Zero is required to go to Portland himself to work on this case. Zero quickly finds out who the blackmailer is - a paramedic named Gloria Sullivan - but wants to find out the reason for the blackmail before Arlo divulges the information to Stark. In the process of finding out the reason, which takes a little longer than usual just because he is finding it difficult to read Gloria's motivations, Zero begins to lose one of his obs for the first time and brings into question if Stark or Gloria is the true victim. It also threatens to turn Zero into somewhat of a normal human being.

    - Written by Huggo
  • Daryl Zero is a private detective. His latest assignment is a blackmail case involving businessman Gregory Stark. Zero's assistant, Steve Arlo is told little of the case by the client, but Zero sets up a sting operation to trap the blackmailer that leads him to Gloria Sullivan.

    - Written by Anonymous
  • Daryl Zero is a psuedonym taken by a paranoid genius. His ability to make observations and then relate them into facts is remarkable. He has curried this ability into a small fortune solving seemingly unsolvable detective cases in inhumanly short periods of time. He is no less than a private investigator savant. While his paranoia requires him to use a front man for all contact with his clientelle, he performs all the actual sleuth work himself, albeit undercover. His tortured relationship with his front man and his first romantic involvement, met while performing his investigations, both serve to distract him from solving a blackmail case. In a nice twist, he falls in love with a woman every bit the genius that Daryl is.

    - Written by Dave Philbin <dphilbin@mindspring.com>
  • Shifty timber tycoon Gregory Stark is being systematically blackmailed and the use of regular private detectives have proved ineffective. Stark decides to call upon the services of the renowned, reclusive Daryl Zero, supposedly the world's greatest detective. Stark is very surprised to find himself discussing the intimate details of the case with Zero's amiable associate Steve Arlo who explains Zero's propensity for never meeting with clients. Zero, using his two 'obs' of objectivity and observation, quickly discovers the identity of the blackmailer but continues the case in order to discover exactly why the seemingly ordinary Gloria Sullivan is attacking Stark in this fashion. As Zero becomes more engrossed in the case and, even worse for him, becomes personally involved with Gloria he is forced to decide between the blackmailer and his client!

    - Written by Mark Smith <msmith@osi.co.uk>
  • The world's greatest detective Daryl Zero aided by his associate Steve Arlo investigates a complex and mysterious case of blackmail and missing keys for shady tycoon Gregory Stark who is less than forthcoming about what is really happening!

    - Written by Mark Smith <msmith@osi.co.uk>


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