From Publishers Weekly
Hurwitz's L.A. thriller has noir pulp chutzpah in spades, even if it does start out with a bang and end up shooting blanks. When Andrew Drew Danner, a crime novelist, is tried for the murder of his ex-fiancée, Genevieve Bertrand, beside whose body he was found holding a bloody knife, he pleads not guilty. He has no memory of how he got to the crime scene because of a breakdown caused by a recently removed brain tumor. Once he's found not guilty by reason of temporary insanity, Danner sets out to find the real killer—or discover some very nasty things about himself. Someone's also trying to frame him for a second murder that appears to be similar to that of Bertrand. Luckily, Danner gets help from old friend Chic, an ex-professional baseball player, and Lloyd Wagoner, a troubled police criminalist. A tense, page-turning first act leads to disappointing explanations involving the police and a misinterpreted phone message. Still, the fast pace and ingenious setup provide considerable tension. Hurwitz (Last Shot
) may not have written a California classic, but it's a worthy effort.
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Successful crime-novelist Drew Danner has gained true tabloid fame--as the murderer of his ex-fiance. Found by the police in the midst of a brain-tumor-induced grand mal seizure, with her blood covering his hands and his fingerprints on the murder weapon, Danner seems to be the only person in L.A. who isn't sure he is a killer. Emergency surgery after his arrest removes the tumor, and a temporary insanity defense frees him, but his comfortable life is shattered. He can't live without knowing if he killed a woman he once loved. His only choice is to become a character in a story he hasn't written. Danner's anguish is compellingly described, and the plot has more twists and turns than Mulholland Drive. At least half a dozen characters are vividly drawn, and nearly all are like Danner--struggling to recover from some tragic and life-altering event. Hurwitz's insights about L.A. life sound knowing and are often ruefully funny, e.g., "L.A., where a porn star runs for governor and an action figure wins." Crime fans looking for something different will love this one.Thomas GaughanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved