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Clea's Moon
     

Clea's Moon

5.0 1
by Edward Wright
 

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Once he was Sierra Lane, hero to countless youngsters in a series of B-movie westerns. Now, after two years in prison, John Ray Horn lives on the margins of post-World War II Los Angeles. His wife has left him, and, blacklisted by the studios, he makes ends meet by collecting debts for his old Indian co-star, Joseph Mad Crow. Then an old friend, Scotty, contacts

Overview

Once he was Sierra Lane, hero to countless youngsters in a series of B-movie westerns. Now, after two years in prison, John Ray Horn lives on the margins of post-World War II Los Angeles. His wife has left him, and, blacklisted by the studios, he makes ends meet by collecting debts for his old Indian co-star, Joseph Mad Crow. Then an old friend, Scotty, contacts Horn. He has come across some obscene photos, including one, several years old, of Horn's stepdaughter, Clea. Within days, Scotty is dead, and Clea has run away. Horn's search takes him from neon-lit ocean-front piers to wooded canyons, from rich homes in the Hollywood Hills to Central Avenue, the Harlem of LA, a street rich in jazz and corruption. But will the on-screen tough-guy hero be able to sustain his role off-screen?

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Debut thriller about an ex-cowboy movie star who earns his spurs in real life. Former newspaper editor Wright starts with all the right details for another tale of crime in post-WWII Los Angeles: men splash on Old Spice, drive DeSotos, and complain about movies "where it’s so danged dark you can’t see who’s who . . . . " But when Scotty Bullard pulls pornographic pictures from his late father’s desk drawer, it’s clear Wright has reached for a noir plot canard. Little that follows dispels this sense of the routine, especially as the sometimes-sharp 1940s particulars dissipate, never delivering on their initial promise. Bullard shows the pictures to John Ray Horn, a washed-up star of B-westerns who’s just served a prison sentence for felony assault. The pictures disturb Horn: They show hooded men fondling four- and five-year old girls, one of them being Horn’s stepdaughter Clea, now 16. Horn turns to his ex-wife Iris, Clea’s mother. Iris insists the shots are not of Clea. Then Scotty’s dead body turns up outside his office window. Did he fall? Was he pushed? Does someone want the pictures? Might they also want Clea, who, Iris informs Horn, has just disappeared? One of Clea’s friends leads Horn to a bar where Clea’s bad-news boyfriend hangs out. When Horn approaches the man outside the bar, another thug works over Horn. Quickly connecting the dots (and lowering the tension), Horn learns his assailant was a stuntman with ties to the child molesters. Horn then finds Clea’s boyfriend brutally shot and rescues a sullen Clea. He and his movie co-star, Joseph Mad Crow, team for a showdown with the killers. A scene as touching as it is sentimental caps the last reel. If the build-up landed like thefadeout, this one would be headed for Hollywood. Alas, it’s not a wrap. Agent: Elizabeth Winick/Macintosh & Otis

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780752876887
Publisher:
Orion Publishing Group, Limited
Publication date:
10/28/2006
Series:
John Horn Series
Edition description:
New
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.85(d)

Meet the Author

Edward Wright grew up in Arkansas and was a naval officer and a newspaperman before discovering the greater satisfaction of writing fiction. Although transplanted to California, he remains partial to barbecue and bluegrass music. He also has an affinity for film noir. Among his regrets are never having met Will Shakespeare, Robert E. Lee, or Hank Williams. He and his wife, Cathy, live in the Los Angeles area but get away whenever possible to the lakes and trails of the eastern Sierra Nevada. Edward was awarded the coveted CWA Ellis Peters Memorial Dagger for his novel RED SKY LAMENT in October 2006.

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Clea's Moon 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read a lot of mysteries and seldom award any a 5-star rating -- this is an outstanding book that deserves a much larger audience that it appears to have received. The prose is fast and clean, but not so rushed that Wright doesn't have time to give his characters some depth and complexity. Most are credible, flawed human beings. Impromptu detective John Ray Horn is an ex-con, former alcoholic and erstwhile actor in B-grade westerns grappling with his past. He gets beaten up and he doesn't hit everything he shoots at, but his burning indignation that his young daughter was once molested by a well-heeled group of pedophiles makes him a dangerous adversary. For history buffs there's also a brief evocation here of Los Angeles shortly after World War II.