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Kill Me Again

Kill Me Again

5.0 1
by Terence Faherty

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How do you top your best work? In Hollywood, you make a sequel. That's the plan in 1947 when filming begins on a follow-up to the wartime romance Passage to Lisbon. The screenwriter is accused of being a Communist. Enter Scott Elliott, a former actor and soldier who is struggling to find a place in a changing Hollywood. To save the movie, Elliott must untangle a


How do you top your best work? In Hollywood, you make a sequel. That's the plan in 1947 when filming begins on a follow-up to the wartime romance Passage to Lisbon. The screenwriter is accused of being a Communist. Enter Scott Elliott, a former actor and soldier who is struggling to find a place in a changing Hollywood. To save the movie, Elliott must untangle a tale of murder, sin and redemption.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In such previous titles as The Lost Keats, Faherty gave heart and soul to academic, potentially dry topics. In this series debut, he starts with a jazzier premise but is markedly less successful at making it vital. Former actor Scott Elliott now provides hired security in post-WWII Tinseltown as a major studio gears up to shoot the sequel to a blockbuster movie that strongly resembles a real film starring Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart. The screenwriter is boozy and jaded; the producer is driven and brilliant. A secret communication suggests a Communist past for the writer, and, as the House Un-American Activities Committee focuses its spotlight, Elliott is called upon to investigate. The writer dies; authorship of the valuable screenplay is quickly questioned; and hidden pasts of all key players soon matter. Elliott is an affable enough soul, but Faherty doesn't give any new spin to the material of red scares, Casablanca and period Hollywood lore that Stuart Kaminsky and George Baxt have previously put to generally good use. (May)
Library Journal
This tale of postwar Hollywood skips the the tinsel and glamor found in most film industry mysteries to focus on the historic Red scare. Youthful studio security hand Scott Elliott investigates allegations that Warner screenwriter Bert Kramer has Communist ties. When Kramer is murdered before realizing any profits from his sequel to a popular Casablanca-like film, Elliott, a former actor, sorts through jealousy, blackmail, and retribution in search of a motive. Though slow-going at first, the narrative does improve. For larger collections.
Wes Lukowsky
Scott Elliot was just beginning to get speaking roles when World War II whisked him away from Hollywood. Now a new crop of young hopefuls has forced Elliott to the back of the line. To stay close to the industry, he parlays his military experience into a security job for a studio. When a writer anonymously accused of being a Communist ends up dead, Elliott finds himself elbow-deep in trouble. Toss in some great-looking dames, a haze of unfiltered cigarette smoke, and large quantities of good booze, and you have a wonderfully entertaining period crime novel. Edgar-nominated author Faherty has a feel for the way we all think Hollywood types act when the cameras aren't rolling, and he feeds our fantasies with deft characterizations and right-on dialogue. Stuart Kaminsky's Toby Peters novels plumb much the same ground, but Elliott is a little tougher than Toby and less likely to see the humor in his situation. For readers who think the last great movie was "The Maltese Falcon", and who like their tough guys in fedoras, Scott Elliott is sure to please.
Kirkus Reviews
Faherty, already a veteran of four Owen Keane mysteries (Die Dreaming, 1994, etc.), takes a time machine back to 1947 Hollywood for a new series featuring Scott Elliott, whose dead- end career as a contract player was mercifully cut short by the war. Now Elliott's working a security job for Warner Brothers, investigating an anonymous allegation that the screenwriter of Love Me Again, the company's peacetime sequel to the wildly popular Passage to Lisbon (think Casablanca afloat), is a Communist. Bert Kramer indignantly denies the suggestion, and nobody can tie him to the Party, but by the time the last negative report is in, Kramer's long since been murdered, his dead hand clutching a screenplay of Love Me Again that's obviously intended as a dying message. In between jaunts around town in his 1940 LaSalle, trips to New York to check rumors of a HUAC industry purge, and agreeably florid faceoffs with Warner publicist Pidgin Englehart—"I tried to stare a blush out of her, but that was a bigger job than one man could handle"—Elliott gives an exhaustive synopsis of the new film's plot, but only the sharpest readers will see its significance, or pick out the guilty party.

More deeply imagined than George Baxt's or Stuart Kaminsky's knockabout nostalgia binges—Elliott's really drunk deep of this postwar disillusionment stuff—but the mystery packs as many curves as Betty Grable.

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The Mystery Company
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Meet the Author

Terence Faherty won the Shamus Award for Come Back Dead, the second novel in the Scott Elliott series. He also writes the Edgar-nominated Owen Keane series. Faherty lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with his wife Jan.

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Kill Me Again 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In 1947, the soldiers have returned from WWII but everything is not back to normal. Suspicion of Communism remains, and America needs its heroes. Hollywood decides to capitalize on this by making a Love Me Again, the sequel to its hit 1942 WWI movie, Passage to Lisbon. Scott Elliott was an up-and-coming actor until the war took both his opportunity and his will to become a star. He¿s now working for his friend Paddy McGuire¿s Hollywood Security Agency, protecting the studios from scandal and the stars from prosecution. Their assignment this time is to discover whether letters sent to Jack Warner, of Warner Brothers, accusing head writer Bert Kramer of being a Communist are true or an attempt to sabotage the movie. With the threat of a House of Un-American Activities Committee calling for testimonies it¿s vital that the studio protect its investment at all costs. When Kramer is found shot to death in his home following a drunken confrontation with the producer, Vincent Mediate, everyone is worried that someone involved in the movie may have murdered him to prevent any association of the film with Communism. There¿s also an ambitious writer waiting to take his slot in the credits, a not-so-grieving widow, and rampant post-war paranoia. To distract Elliott is the very sexy publicist of Love Me Again, an old flame of Elliott¿s who just happens to be married to the producerr, and, of course, Elliott¿s need to find out just how the sequel to his beloved movie will end. This is a fun throwback to old Hollywood, where women are dames, the red are the enemy, and the noir dialogue is snappy and tough. Elliott is a determined investigator whose smart mouth is sometimes faster than his fists. The glimpse into old Hollywood movie-making is as fascinating as it is entertaining, and I found myself as interested in discovering the end of the movie as I was in the identity of the murderer. Hopefully, The Mystery Company will be reprinting the other Scott Elliott Mysteries from the 90¿s. Or at least that Faherty will continue to write more of them.