The Black Orchid

Vaughn C. Hardacker. Skyhorse, $16.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-5107-0531-9
In this hard-hitting crime novel from Hardacker (Sniper), Deborah Hollis, a member of an old-money New Hampshire family, hires PI Ed Traynor to find her sister, Melinda, who took off for Los Angeles to become an actress and hasn’t been heard from in two months. Jack McMahon, a former L.A. cop who works for the Hollis family business, accompanies McMahon on the trip west. At an L.A. morgue, the two identify the gruesomely butchered body of a Jane Doe as that of Melinda, who they subsequently learn had a starring role in a snuff film. In their search for Melinda’s killer, Traynor and McMahon get on the trail of pimp Vincent Beneventi, “a small-time piece of garbage who wants to be big-time,” and Giuliano Olivas “Holy” Toledo, a sadistic Mexican film producer. Traynor goes after Toledo in Mexico City, while McMahon follows Kondrat Jablonski, a hot Hollywood director, to Vancouver, Canada. Despite some lack of continuity, Hardacker keeps the action flowing all the way to the violent climax. Agent: Paula Munier, Talcott Notch Literary Services. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/18/2016
Release date: 03/01/2016
Genre: Fiction
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