Hollywood, 1945. Ben Collier returns from war to the news that his filmmaker brother Daniel has died in mysterious circumstances -- the papers say it was an accident, but others suspect suicide. Daniel was a heroic figure who helped many prominent German intellectuals escape Europe before the war and then settled in Los Angeles with his ...Read MoreHollywood, 1945. Ben Collier returns from war to the news that his filmmaker brother Daniel has died in mysterious circumstances -- the papers say it was an accident, but others suspect suicide. Daniel was a heroic figure who helped many prominent German intellectuals escape Europe before the war and then settled in Los Angeles with his beautiful wife, Liesl. Why would a man with such a bright future take his own life? Could he have been murdered? Ben is determined to uncover the truth and uses his friendship with Continental Studios boss Sol Lasner to penetrate the maze of studio politics and Hollywood secrets. Beneath the surface shine of the movie business lies a darker world where even the biggest stars and star-makers are vulnerable to old secrets being exposed and old loyalties tested...Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2009-07-06 James Ellroy fans will find a lot to like in this gritty look at post-WWII Hollywood from Edgar-winner Kanon (Los Alamos). Ben Collier, recently returned to the U.S. from service in the Signal Corps in Europe, travels to California after his sister-in-law, Liesl, informs him that his director brother, Danny, has suffered a serious fall from a hotel window. Was it an accident or a suicide attempt? Ben arrives in time to witness his brother briefly emerge from a coma, but soon afterward Danny dies. While Liesl believes the suicide theory, Ben suspects someone pushed Danny out the window and turns amateur detective to identify the culprit. In a noirish twist, the widowed Liesl comes on to Ben. The stakes rise after Ben learns Danny was playing a part in an anticommunist crusade a congressman is launching against the film industry. Kanon perfectly balances action and introspection, while smoothly integrating such real-life figures as actress Paulette Goddard into the plot. (Sept.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2009-11-30 Tony-winning actor Boyd Gaines brings an impressive range of vocal characterizations to Kanon's fusion of classic Los Angeles crime noir and international intrigue set in the era when the exuberance following America's victory in WWII was giving way to the dark clouds of red-baiting in Washington and Hollywood. Gaines proves particularly effective in his sexually charged portrayal of Liesl, the exotic widow at the center of a show-business murder mystery who must sacrifice her ethnic identity on the road to silver screen stardom. This otherwise excellent audio's sole flaw is in the abridgment. The shift from the initial homicide investigation to the grilling of studio heads at the hands of a reactionary congressman feels disjointed, requiring listeners to shift mental gears abruptly. An Atria hardcover (Reviews, July 6). (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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