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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Book Review: Dead is Dead by James Gabriel

Finished reading on July 10, 2012

Book synopsis at Smashwords

Jake Thorne is a fixer for the MGM, the biggest and best of the Studio's that rule Hollywood's golden age. If you're a big shot, Jake will sober you up, pay off the cops and keep it out of the papers. So when a too-young girl shows up strangled in a big director's garden, Jake's on the job. But there's something about the girl that bothers him, and when the usually compliant cops try to warn him off, he decides to find out who she was. His search takes him into the world of abandoned girls, pimps and porn dealers, and into his own past where he is forced to confront who he was, what he did, and who he has become.

My review
1 of 5 stars

Writing a story with real people you don’t know is something only the very most experienced writers should attempt. The real people should have been edited out of this one. The only characters more trite and flat than the made-up people were the real ones.

This was another one of those stories that is told from a man’s point of view, told first person, in Hollywood’s golden era when men were all tough and women were either easy or your sister/mother. Real-life Hollywood stars weren’t just names dropped, but they had lines and everything. Joan Crawford was a major supporting character.

In the midst of all the hedonistic parties and murder is our main character that works for the film studio and is the only character in the book with a conscience. He feels bad that he was a sleaze in his youth. Everyone else grew up to be sleazier and criminal. I finished the book, but never expecting it to get better. In that, I wasn’t disappointed.

The book eventually ended with the main character finally understanding why things are so screwed up, why he is. And there is little to make the reader believe it changes anything.

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