Fred Andersen, author
This is a tale of classic Hollywood told with 21st Century perspective. Therefore call girl-turned -starlet Lily Torrence shoots pimp-turned-talent agent Marty Nuco not because she’s crazed and vindictive, but because she’s fighting for her freedom, standing up for herself . . . and vindictive. Nuco, the blackmailer and exploiter, is not a heartless Zachary Scott cad but a family man involved in a hopeless love triangle with a married woman. And the sleuth of the piece, Lyman Wilbur, is not a repressed homosexual who would be played by Clifton Webb, but a repressed intellectual who might be played by Russell Crowe. But the modern awareness does not carry over to the social attitudes of the characters. Major movie star Deborah Boynton will remain a closeted lesbian not out of shame or shyness, but because it’s a good career decision. Hotshot director Max Beckerman cheats on his wife not because he’s dissatisfied with her, but because it’s what men—and especially Hollywood hotshots–do. And if corrupt cops are forced to kill the mobster who’s been paying them off, well, at least it’s good publicity.