Greed and Stuff

J. S. Russell, Author, Jay S. Russell, Author
J. S. Russell, Author, Jay S. Russell, Author Minotaur Books $23.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-312-26168-9
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Following Celestial Dogs (1997) and Burning Bright (1998), actor Marty Burns is back for another entertaining plunge into Hollywood noir. Marty has seen both sides of life in Lalaland--as a sitcom star in his teens and later as a private detective with a firsthand familiarity with the underbelly of Tinseltown. Finally back on top as star of a TV series, he's enjoying his beach house in Malibu, his weekly poker game and the good life, until poker buddy Hall Emerson asks a favor. Hall needs some missing footage from The Devil on Sunday, a classic noir film his father helped write. His mother, a featured player, was murdered during production and the killer never found. Hall's request propels Marty into that world where people reinvent themselves almost daily. Meanwhile Marty is waiting for word from his agent about his series renewal and a role in the remake of The Devil on Sunday. When Hall is found dead, an apparent suicide, Marty feels he owes him. First stop is the powerful blacklist hero and studio head, MacArthur Stans, who may hold the key to Hall's past. Russell casts this very showbizzy tale with an oddball selection of chasers-of-the-dream, including bikers, seedy dealers in memorabilia, gofers and a bartender or two, most of whom are not destined for the A list. Looking beneath the Big Orange, he has produced a thoughtful riff on truth, responsibility and the price to be paid for a few feet of celluloid. (Feb. 13)
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