Shamus Awards Best Novel
The year is 1955, and the media landscape is changing. The arrival of television has taken a major toll on Hollywood's box office receipts, and times don't look to be getting any easier for the studios. As a result, RKO has decided to put its entire library of films on the block, as a way to recoup some of its losses. This gives one of the most controversial men in Hollywood, Carson Drury, the chance he's waited for all his life - to buy back and remake his second movie and noted flop, The Imperial Albertsons. Drury rose to stardom and was proclaimed a genius based on the success of his debut film, First Citizen, which he wrote, directed, and starred in. Unfortunately for Drury, his early artistic promise was never fully realized. The epitome of his failure - The Imperial Albertsons - was disliked by audiences and critics alike. According to Drury, this wasn't his fault. He was betrayed by his friends, by his actors, and, most of all, by RKO, who decided to scrap his original ending in favor of their own happy ending. For Drury, the sale of RKO represents the chance to buy the film, re-shoot the original ending, and restore his tarnished reputation. The only problem is that someone doesn't want him to succeed. Someone, in fact, is so bent on silencing him that he may be desperate enough to kill. When sabotage on the set turns into attempted murder, it's time for Drury to bring in professional help. So he turns to tinsel-town sleuth Scott Elliott, the actor-turned-war hero-turned-private eye. The charming security expert knows the ins and outs of Hollywood, making him the perfect man for the job. His mission: untangle the twisted motives from Drury's past and find the saboteur before the attempt to kill Albertsons turns into murder of a more lethal kind.
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February 1997 : USA Hardback
December 2014 : USA, Canada Kindle edition