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Crime mystery set in the Golden Age of Hollywood

4th December 2017

The Pictures by Guy Bolton, crime mystery set in the Golden Age of Hollywood.

1939. Hollywood. The era of MGM, Joan Crawford and Clark Gable. In other words this is Hollywood’s Golden Age…

Crime mystery set in the Golden Age of Hollywood

Jonathan Craine is a LAPD detective, a world weary “fixer”, well versed in the ways of the film world and its capricious cast members. One of the producers of The Wizard of Oz is found dead. Suspicious or not, no whiff of scandal must leak out in order to protect his starlet wife. Life in the world of film has to be picture-book perfect, nothing must be untoward, everything has to be sweetness and light.

Craine’s wife has recently passed away, drowned in a bath, discovered by Michael their son and thus the two are still grieving, raw and exposed. Michael has lost his power of speech and has been farmed out to Boarding School. It is their relationship that really holds the novel together.

The opening murder of a young woman seems to link back somehow to the film studios and Craine feels obligated to look deeper into crimes within the industry. The industry brings big bucks and kudos to the city of Los Angeles, but can he really continue to turn a blind eye?

The book has a very visual and cinematographic quality to the writing, and Hollywood of the era feels very strong. The writing style is competent and easy to read. Sometimes the jaded, laconic aspect of the main character feels quite palpable and on occasion I struggled to engage. But overall a good read, with an all too real story set in a credible time and place.

Tina for the TripFiction Team

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