A trip to the West Coast lands Jack LeVine in a tangled Hollywood murder web
After nearly a decade of churning out hits, Warner Bros. screenwriter Walter Adrian wants a raise on his weekly $2,500 salary. He thinks a thousand dollars more is fair—but the studio’s counteroffer is low, and dropping fast. Something is wrong, and he thinks it may have to do with communism.
Though he insists he isn’t a Red, Adrian has no way of proving it. He flees to New York to ask the advice of high school buddy Jack LeVine, private eye. LeVine is broke, and has no sympathy for his wealthy friend, but he agrees to fly West to investigate his old classmate’s trouble. When he arrives, Adrian hangs dead from the gallows at the Western set on the Warners’ backlot. Behind his friend’s death LeVine finds a shadowy Cold War conspiracy, and a city far darker than anything Hollywood puts on screen.