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"What would happen if an incredibly gifted writer smashed together thebest of Bond, Hammer and McGee?... Turns out Neil Russell is thatauthor. Rail Black is that hero and BEVERLY HILLS IS BURNING is thatbook. "BURNING" is filled with intense sex, harsh language, graphicviolence and a great story interweaving mysteries from 1930's Cuba withtoday's Hollywood... Gangsters... Hollywood stars, starlets, sexualpredators and producers do things that will make parts of you stand onend..." Myles Knapp, Thriller Reviewer, Bay Area News Group
About the Author
Neil Russell is founder and CEO of Hollywood Artists Pictures Corporation (HAPCORP). He is a former senior executive with Paramount, Columbia, MGM/UA and Carolco Pictures, and the author of the Rail Black novels CITY OF WAR and WILDCASE.
File Size: 1096 KB
Print Length: 452 pages
Publisher: Rothington House; First edition (March 22, 2014)
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started Beverley Hills is Burning and having finished it I am still at odds at how to describe it. It is a man’s book; a wonderful, amazing, intriguing man’s book. It doesn’t mean woman can’t read it; I merely mean it all but ebbs and flows with testosterone. There are several parallel and occasionally intersecting plot lines to follow. One is set in and around 1935, Cuba, gangsters and drugs.
Let’s just get this out of the way this book is loaded with adult language, adult situations, violence, drug use, sex, bondage, sadomasochism and torture. It is also filled with gangsters, from modern times and the distant past; Hollywood insiders and stars of the golden screen.
The main character; or at least the one who ties all of the separate plot lines together is Rail Black, a multibillionaire, former Delta Force member, private jet owner & tragic widower. He is larger than life, his friends are larger than life his house and cars are larger than life.
With all of that said this book is stunningly brilliant. Each event builds on another, sometimes seemingly unrelated until you get to the reveal and BAM! It all comes together.
I made it through about midway, then I just had to put it down. It was not holding my interest, had poor sentence structure and grammar and just wasn't that interesting. I did read through the introduction of S&M to the story line, and through the second introduction through the character of Barrie. But it seemed simplistic, without the development of the relationship that was suddenly "love" after a few clamps get put on and Barrie is asked to call her master "ma`am". It was equally difficult to believe that Barrie could say that she "loved" her second S&M partner after knowing her for a few hours. If Lake is supposed to "write like a man" this just doesn't compute. Also, switching back to the past and shifting forward again was unclear and difficult to grasp -even if there was a new chapter involved. I bought the book accidentally, and decided to try it and not waste my money. But I just can't bring myself to finish it.
The third book in Neil Russell’s “Rail Black” trilogy is an action thriller that holds its own in the company of classics of the genre by Tom Clancy and Nelson DeMille - but with a little hard-boiled Elmore Leonard and Jim Thompson noir in the mix. From the first sentence you know you are in expert hands: Russell plunges the reader ocean deep (literally) into the plot and immediately introduces unforgettable characters as he skillfully navigates between the 1930’s and the present day and between two parallel and compelling stories.
The charismatic hero, billionaire Rail Black, is as tough as he is rich, tall, and good-looking. The former Delta Force operative uses his acquired and natural skills to help friends with special problems - and there is no shortage of either. He does favors for these friends but enemies lurk - no “ghosts or specters or vampires” - as Rail Black says - “all that’s really out there are terrible people doing terrible things...”
The sheer velocity of the prose, the vividly described exotic locales – Cuba, Mexico, Laguna Beach, and Beverly Hills – and the intricate plot, make the book almost impossible to put down – but it is not for those with delicate sensibilities. If this was a movie (which it surely will be) it would be R-rated – for graphic violence, language and lots of sex, (conventional and otherwise).
Hurtling along this accelerating, breathtaking, and unpredictable mystery ride, you will learn fascinating details about the finer things in life - yachts, cars, motorcycles, aircraft, jewels, architecture, art, and wine – plus juicy lore about authentic Hollywood, from a guy who really knows – Russell grew up in show business and knows it from the ground - and seamy side - up. He will keep the modern reader guessing about the real identities of some of the contemporary characters – and that is part of the fun.
This is a page-turner you’ll “burn” through – summer reading at its most entertaining.
I gave the book two stars because, in general, it was well written. Part of it (the present) was somewhat believable but the other part (set in the 1930's) was unbelievable and filled with gratuitous pornographic sex scenes that didn't add anything to the book. I'm not a prude by any means. I've never been critical of sex scenes from a book before, but the descriptions in this book were WAY over the top.
There were a few editing/verb errors, but my main complaint, besides the pornographic sex, is that the book was tedious and had far too many characters to keep up with. And I never did understand why people were fighting to obtain a screen play that looked boring at best.
The ending was up in the air. This was a very long, tedious book, and I regret wasting my time reading it.