Hollywood PI, sometime actor Eddie Collins is doing a bit on a sitcom when he receives an SOS from an A-list friend. Mike Ford's Oscar has been stolen during a home invasion and Ford's girlfriend has drowned in the swimming pool. Did she surprise the burglar? Whoever it was left behind threatening letters, and Eddie is hired to see if he can unearth their source. All the dots connect around a movie Ford directed and acted in several years earlier: Red Desert. More than a few people associated with that shoot recall it less than fondly. Is one of them harboring a deadly grudge? Eddie has hired Reggie, an old Army buddy, to do surveillance. Soon Reggie, Eddie's secretary Mavis, and everyone associated with Eddie Collins and Mike Ford seem to be targets. And smoke from the foothills is encroaching on Eddie's Hollywood home/office. Is Eddie's world about to go up in flames? Book 2 in the Eddie Collins Mystery series.
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This is the second novel by Clive Rosengren and the second in what I am hoping will be a series featuring actor/private investgator, Eddie Collins. Eddie's film career has become somewhat stagnant, probably because he hasn't embraced the Hollywood game playing required to really make it. But what makes him a good detective are the years spent analyzing characters for movie roles. He's a natural observer. Hollywood's loss is a gain for anyone in the movie industry employing him as a PI. He's a little scruffy, a little damaged and on occassion, a little too trusting. But he has investigative instincts and a lot of inside contacts. His cases take the reader to the darker side of Hollywood and its denizens. I liked this book and Rosengren's first book, 'Murder Unscripted.'