From the Publisher
“Hilarious and philosophical . . . His first novel, a murder mystery, has the same dark humor and cynical insider’s take as the fiction of Elmore Leonard.”
“With a deft plot, an insider’s eye, and considerable charm, Steven Bochco resurrects everything we loved about Columbo into his own brand of Hollywood Murder Mystery. Death by Hollywood left me laughing out loud.”
“Slick-as-silk fiction . . . The book is fast, fun, sexy, and delivers plenty of inside dope on movie stars and their wacky lives. . . . As smooth and rich as the name-brand Chardonnays preferred by many of the book’s fabulously conflicted Tinseltown characters.”
“A vulgar, sex-filled romp—in the best sense: good, nasty fun.”
**MORE QUOTES TK**
“It is obvious . . . that Bochco understands how ‘the business’ works. . . . the sting of truth.”
—Los Angeles Times
Read an Excerpt
There used to be a writer by the name of merle Miller, who wrote that people in Hollywood are always touching you—not because they like you, but because they want to see how soft you are before they eat you alive. He was right. It’s a tough town and a tough business, and if you don’t watch your step, either one’ll kill you, which I guess is what this story is actually about.
By way of formal introduction, my name is Eddie Jelko, and I’m an agent. I represent screenwriters, primarily, and a few important directors. I used to represent actors when I first started in the business almost twenty years ago, but it didn’t take me long to figure out that actors are crazy. They tend to be paranoid, narcissistic, and, in general, oblivious to the needs and feelings of others. The good news is, they can also be charming, seductive, charismatic, and, in the case of the very few, so genuinely gifted that simply being in their presence is a privilege. That said, celebrity, for the ego-challenged, can be as destructive as heroin. A little is too much, as they say, and too much is never enough.
In my naïveté, I thought writers and directors would be different. Fat chance. They’re just as loony. In fact, the entertainment industry as a whole is one giant dysfunctional family. Everyone’s terrified—of their own failure, or of everyone else’s success—and as a general rule, you can assume that everyone lies about everything. (Have you ever looked at an actor’s résumé—at the bottom, under special skills? Speaks three languages. Black belt in martial arts. Rides horses and motorcycles. Juggling and acrobatics. The truth is, you’re lucky if they can drive a fucking car.)
And agents? By and large, we’re nothing more than well-paid pimps who represent our pooched-out clients as if they’re beautiful young virgins, offering them up to a bunch of jaded johns who know better, but these are the only whores in town. As the saying goes, denial is not a river in Egypt. It’s a river in Hollywood, and it runs deep, and brown.
The story I want to tell you involves, among other things, a screenwriter whose career is fading out more than it’s fading in, a billionaire’s wife, and a murder—which means, of course, there’s also a cop. Plus, the story has one other thing going for it. It’s true.
Would I lie to you?