When Lawe loses his job as Marshal of Potemkin County he drifts to Los Angeles. Along the way he picks up a hitchhiker named Al Haine. Haine is a storyteller, a gambler (who always wins), an ardent Marxist, and a man who carries a knife strapped to his leg. Lawe has his doubts about Haine's honesty, but needs someone to share expenses and driving. Upon arrival in Los Angeles Lawe takes a job as a stuntman in Gower Gulch, the home of low budget western movies. Haine picks up work at various studios as an extra and helps organize a labor movement among the actors. His union activities get him beaten by union-busting thugs and Lawe comes to his rescue. Tiring of the physical punishment of stunt work, Marshal takes a job in studio security at RKO. He finds that the majority of his work consists of getting actors out of legal scrapes. The Los Angeles Police Department is only too happy to cooperate in covering up the peccadilloes of the stars. When Jean Harlow's husband turns up dead from a gunshot wound to the temple, Lawe's suspects that murder has been committed. The policeman in him won't let him turn his head and he finds himself at odds with the most powerful executives in Hollywood, who are abetted by a corrupt detective whose name has already appeared on several studio-linked murder investigations. His discovery of the true story behind the man's death also leads to the arrest of Al Haine, on charges of murder during the Troubles back in North Ireland.
Used availability for Bruce Cook's Tommy Gun Tango
June 2009 : USA Paperback