Design Image, Dec 2002, 15.95, 238 pp.
In 1951 Hollywood, Regal Pictures mogul Robert regal Clarke asks Brian Kane one more time to explain what he does for the studio. Brian tells her he is a private detective on retainer by Regal. He gets a hundred a month for doing nothing and fifty a day if he is doing something. Robert orders Brian to handle the blackmailing of his girlfriend actress Hanna Mills, but neither of them will provide him any information beyond a vague threat that the culprit will go to columnist Andrea Anderson with some damaging information.
Brian waits for a final scene of western to be shot so he can question Hanna who stars in the film. However, during the climatic shoot-out someone assassinates legendary actor Niles Walker. As the police investigate the murder, Brian knows that a link between the homicide and the blackmail case exists, but Robert still remains obstinate about what he knows and orders Brian to forget about the murder and concentrate on what he is being paid to do: protect him and Hanna.
THE DEAL KILLER, the second Kane 1950s Hollywood private investigative tale (see THE BIG SWITCH, obtainable from Design Image), is an exciting hard-boiled detective story with an undercoating of humor that somewhat softens yet hones the plot's edge. Sub-genre fans will relish the story line that moves briskly forward mostly through the actions and interactions with and to Brian who struggles with uncooperative clients. Jack Bludis furbishes a delightful tale for those readers who enjoy a tough but caring sleuth doing the job his way.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner