Ballantine, May 2004, 24.95, 304 pp.
In recent years Los Angeles has been the epicenter of disasters with an earthquake to add to the list but thirty-five years old Mark Hayes would live no where else. Mark would like to have had some success with his career at Warner Brothers, but though a creative executive, he has no film credit to his name. Instead he critiques cerebral dumbing scripts.
Much of Hollywood detests Mark's boss producer Dexter Morton, who enjoys their hatred and flaunts it by inviting those who find him an abomination to parties he host because they always come. The morning after Dexter's latest bashing bash, Mark finds his boss dead in the swimming pool. The police feel Mark is the leading suspect though Charity James, the former girlfriend of Mark's studio peer is also high on the casting list. Mark and Charity begin seeking the truth from a clichéd Hollywood B movie with too many subplots to make it on the screen, but this is real life and a happy ending is not necessarily in the script.
Using the 1994 earthquake to set the stage, Terrill Lee Lankford provides an insider amateur sleuth novel with a pinch of a police procedural tale. The story line uses real events in the background; yet the prime thread is low key as Dexter's struggles with his boss (dead and alive) and his lack of success.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner