Edgar finalist Estleman effortlessly melds film history with a whodunit in his gripping sixth mystery featuring UCLA movie archivist Valentino (after 2016’s Brazen). Valentino is devoted to locating and acquiring “rare motion pictures so they can be preserved for future generations to see and appreciate.” He gets a unique opportunity from Ignacio Bozal, a wealthy man with a shadowy past, who gives him the only known copy of Bleak Street, a never-released movie, in which an obscure actor named Van Oliver starred as a gangster based on Bugsy Siegel. Oliver disappeared and was believed to have been murdered, possibly by the mob, in 1959, before the picture could be released. The PR department at UCLA insists that Valentino try to shed light on Oliver’s fate, to bolster the publicity for the planned screening of Bleak Street. Valentino sets out to see how much he can learn, decades later, about what actually happened from the few people left involved with the film, including a fellow actor who was the last person known to have seen Oliver alive. The solution to the cold case is both clever and surprising. Film noir buffs will be in heaven. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary. (May)
Reviewed on : 02/12/2020 Release date: 05/26/2020 Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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