Authors Showcase: Suspense Here & There
July 17, 2012
The Book: The Holden Age of Hollywood
The Author: Phil Brody
Sam Bateman came to Hollywood to settle a score, but amidst the sunny and 75, his plans went astray. Everything changed the day he drank in the intoxicating legend of Meyer Holden, the greatest screenwriter Hollywood has ever known, the one who pulled a Salinger and walked away. Holden now tacks pseudonyms onto his works and buries them in the bottomless sea of spec that is Hollywood’s development process.
They’re out there for anyone to find—but at what cost? In his quest, Bateman severs all ties and sinks into a maddening world of bad writing and flawed screenplays. Paranoid and obsessive, the belligerent savant encounters an eccentric cast of characters—each with an agenda—in his search for the one writer in Hollywood who does not want to be found.
Phil Brody’s The Holden Age of Hollywood is at once a detective novel, an unexpected love story, and a provocative exposé of a broken industry. With dark humor and incisive commentary, the novel immerses readers in a neo-noir quest to attain the Hollywood dream, integrity intact.
A Review by Thomas Gaughan, Booklist: “Brody’s debut novel has an ambitious agenda. It’s a coming-of-age novel, a mystery, a love story, and a stinging, knowing send-up of the movie biz. Brody melds these disparate elements with energy, wit, snarky insider dialogue, and a clipped, telegraphic narrative style. . . The Holden Age of Hollywood is fine entertainment.”
A Review by Doug Jones, Actor, Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy I and II, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer: “As the sun came up today, I turned the last page of Phil Brody’s The Holden Age of Hollywood. That’s because I couldn’t put it down. I can rarely make time for novels, but this one had me rifling through pages with constant anticipation.
“The backdrop of this story is the same backdrop I live and work in. Hollywood. With all its fast-talkers, posers, and users, Brody weaves a tale through all the madness that is Hollywood with a voice of reason, integrity, and hilarious sarcasm. . . I have rarely been this entertained, while being informed, all from reading the same book.”
A Review by Stan Corwin, former publisher/CEO of Pinnacle Books, author of Betty Page Confidential and Oxy-Morons I Have Known: “The Holden Age of Hollywood by Phil Brody delivers the premise and promise of its title. It is an original, rollicking, picaresque novel that would make J.D. Salinger proud.”
The Book: I Have to Get It Right
The Author: David Atkinson
The Story: Patrick Steele is an accountant with training for various physical skills. He has made himself a self-styled Robin Hood available to right the wrongs of society using his skills as an accountant and a man of violence.
The Gurentai, a sub-group of the Japanese Yakuza, employs him to prevent the incursion of the Mafia into England – specifically the northeast. The Mafia have blackmailed, or so it seems, a member of the local government planning committee to give contracts to a building firm under their control. That is James Thompson, but his wife Janice is hiding a secret!
The Gurentai set Steele up with a Swiss bank account with sufficient remuneration to purchase an empty factory unit and set it up as a training facility and garage for himself. He also is to follow Aikido training to hone his skills in hand-to-hand combat and to adopt the spiritual attitudes of the Gurentai.
The action begins near the Thompson household and at a building site operated by the Italian sponsored building firm. He indulges in some property sabotage and minor wounding of one of the hierarchy of the building firm. This does not have the desired effect however, and in an effort to discover the prime movers heads after the source of the funds, to The Marche, a region on Italy’s east coast.
David Atkinson points out: “The book is a first person POV from Patrick, an ingenuous combination of accountant and what sounds to be vigilante-come hit man. Not being a big thriller/crime reader, I thought this an excellent idea for a character and the thoughts and actions are well written. The pace of the first chapter is enough to tug your curiosity about both Patrick and the character he is ‘investigating,’ along with some nice digs about modern estates and the Northeast.”
Review by Jo VonBargen: “Honestly, David Atkinson has a huge hit here! This story is completely unique, unlike any novel I’ve ever read. Absolutely riveting, I have to thank him for keeping me up all last night! I literally couldn’t put it down.
It is so expertly detailed that if I ever wanted to change my career to one like that of the protagonist, I think I could do it blindfolded! This author tells a fascinating tale; I’m going now to find the next one and stay up yet another night! Thank you, David Atkinson, for taking me lock, stock and barrel into a completely different world!”