The Song Is You

Megan Abbott, Author . Simon & Schuster $23 (242p) ISBN 978-0-7432-9171-2

Fans of James Ellroy nostalgic for his gritty, cynical take on postwar Hollywood in such noir classics as L.A. Confidential and The Black Dahlia should enjoy Edgar-finalist Abbott's second novel (after Die a Little ). The author uses a less-celebrated real-life crime—the disappearance of actress Jean Spangler from Los Angeles in 1949—as her hook to spin a downbeat tale about a journalist-turned-studio-flack, Gil "Hop" Hopkins. Hop was with Spangler, a stunner but a second-rate acting talent, the last night she was seen, and harbors guilt over leaving her in the company of a famous acting and singing duo, Marv Sutton and Gene Merrel, who have a reputation for rough play. Hop's efforts at amateur sleuthing unearth a blackmail ring and a possible mob connection to Spangler's disappearance. Abbott deserves credit for resurrecting this virtually forgotten case and concocting a plausible fictional solution to a true crime. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/20/2006
Release date: 01/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-84739-736-2
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4165-3851-6
Hardcover - 367 pages - 978-0-7862-9484-8
Paperback - 242 pages - 978-0-7432-9172-9
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