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John F. Mollard and Roy C. Booth. Indie Authors, $13 trade paper (278p) ISBN 978-1-910910-16-0
At the start of this exciting if gory crime novel from screenwriters Mollard and Booth, sadistic murderer Paul Swan manages to enter plastic surgeon Larry Milner’s Los Angeles estate, where he proceeds to stab the doctor’s fiancée to death and decapitate Milner. The LAPD believes the murders are the work of the Hollywood Spectre, a serial killer who’s evaded apprehension for more than a decade. Whether Swan is the Spectre remains a tantalizing question. Meanwhile, struggling actor Rich MacGuffin gets a break when megastar Christian Rivers is abducted by Swan before Rivers can complete work on his latest film. With the help of a mask, MacGuffin is able to impersonate Rivers and replaces him on the film, which sets up a clash with Swan. Snappy dialogue and an authentic Hollywood backdrop help propel the fast-moving plot. Fans of high-octane suspense will hope to see more from these authors. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 01/08/2021