In Hallinan’s satisfying third Junior Bender novel (after Little Elvises), the L.A. burglar/PI continues to excavate show business’s forgotten past, investigating in this installment the also-rans of postwar Hollywood. Dolores La Marr’s ascent to movie stardom was quickly halted in 1951 when she was found at a gangland party in a police raid. Decades later, 93-year-old attorney Irwin Dressler, Southern California’s most feared powerbroker, is still infatuated with her. When Irwin asks, or rather orders, Junior to determine who set up Dolores all those years ago, the detective must comb through the short list of Dolores’s surviving acquaintances, including publicist Pinky Pinkerton, louche director Doug Trent, and arch-rival actress Olivia Dupont. Hallinan de-emphasizes the series’ dark humor and recurring characters—like Junior’s teenage daughter, Rina, and his girlfriend, Ronnie—offering instead convincing flashbacks to Dolores’s early Hollywood adventures and a sincere look at her eternally deferred Hollywood dreams. Agent: Bob Mecoy, Bob Mecoy Literary. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/08/2013 Release date: 07/02/2013 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.