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Shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger 2017.
Yet another British beginner with a tale set overseas, in this case in Hollywood in 1939 at the time The Wizard of Oz was being filmed. Detective Jonathan Craine once worked as a fixer for the studios, looking after their stars and employees when excess spilled over into the sphere of illegality but has tried to avoid the murky scene since his wife, an actress, committed suicide. When a young woman is found murdered and, as a result, a well-known producer under a veil of suspicion hangs himself, he is brought in to cover the tracks and mute the scandal at the behest of the owner of MGM and is drawn into an inexorable nightmare, compounded by his own past familiarity with many of the film people involved and his undoubted attraction to the dead man's widow. Walking a straight line between duty and cover up, the story he uncovers is distateful but also a way for him to find redemption of sorts. A flawed hero and a fascinating background and times make for a great read, even if the Golden Age of the movies don't fascinate you as much as they do me. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title.
World-weary Jonathan Craine is a detective at the LAPD who has spent his entire career as a studio 'fixer', covering up crimes of the studio players to protect the billion-dollar industry that built Los Angeles. When one of the producers of The Wizard of Oz is found dead under suspicious circumstances, Craine must make sure the incident passes without scandal and that the deceased's widow, the beautiful starlet Gale Goodwin, comes through the ordeal with her reputation unscathed. But against his better instincts, Craine finds himself increasingly drawn to Gale. And when a series of unsavoury truths begin to surface, Craine finds himself at the centre of a conspiracy involving a Chicago crime syndicate, a prostitution racket and a set of stolen pictures that could hold the key to unravelling the mystery.
'It's one of those books which you pick up idly - and don't put down. I read it in a couple of days and I'm still thinking about a couple of the characters. Definitely recommended... There's a real pace to the story and an effortless evocation of the Hollywood of the nineteen thirties...It's his first novel and is particularly assured for a debut.'
Publication date: 02/03/2017
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
|Publication date:||2nd March 2017|
|Genres:||Crime / Mystery, Thriller / Suspense,|
|Categories:||Crime & mystery, Thriller / suspense,|
Guy Bolton lives in London and has worked in publishing, film and television. He currently works in drama at the BBC. Guy is also a screenwriter whose work has been optioned by Bedlam Productions, Hat Trick and Tiger Aspect. The Pictures is his first novel. Last year it was short-listed in the Telegraph Harvill Secker crime writing competition. Author photo © Jodie SouthgateMore About Guy Bolton