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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Loser's Town (David Spandau #1) by Daniel Depp

A look at Hollywood from an insider's point of view

Published in 2009 by Simon & Schuster.
290 pages.

Daniel Depp knows his way around Hollywood - he is a screenwriter and his brother is famed actor Johnny Depp (a fact I did not know until after I read the book). Loser's Town features David Spandau, a former stuntman turned private detective. Spandau is jaded and definitely not impressed with the Hollywood movie scene.

Spandau is called back from vacation to take a case involving Bobby Dye, an up and coming new star on the verge of making it to the pinnacle of the Hollywood scene. But, he's receiving death threats and, more importantly, is being blackmailed. Spandau has to deal with greedy agents, flighty actors and an on again / off again relationship with his client throughout as he tracks clues through the ugly underbelly of the Hollywood scene.

The book's title comes from a Robert Mitchum quote: "I came out to Los Angeles in the 30s, during the Depression, because there was work here. LA is a loser's town. It always has been. You can make it here when you can't make it anywhere else." This quote sets the tone for the entire book. It is dark, cynical and nihilistic. For me, it was too much. This was not a particularly enjoyable book, although the behind-the-scenes of the movie business aspect was interesting - in the beginning. But, the relentless nature of the book comes off more as petty complaining and trying to air out showbiz's dirty laundry and less about trying to move the plot along.

I rate this book 2 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Loser's Town: A David Spandau Novel

Reviewed on January 17, 2012.

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