Longlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger 2017. A truly impressive debut by a London-based American journalist who has investigated both Hollywood and the sex trade and uses his research to best effect in a twisting tale at the same time realistically gripping and sardonic. Jerry is a nest of traumas: depression is his normal state of mind and that is when he is not having psychotic hallucinations. Accused of stealing a valuable painting, he is obliged to go on the run where he encounters a woman as complicated as he is and is inadvertently through her embroiled in the clandestine world of the film industry's darker secrets. Their joint quest to make things right and find answers to the voices he hears proves daunting as they journey through Hollywood's underground and are confronted by a deep well of iniquity through which they journey caper-like with a light touch as they tread through the horrors. Grothaus writes with a delicate fluency which contrasts with the depravity of his subject matter. Humour and emotions: what more could you ask for in a thriller? A Maxim Jakubowski selected title.