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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 have now read all three of Neil Russell’s Rail Black novels, and can hardly wait for the trilogy to become a quartet.
Neil has created a marvelous superhero with whom every guy would love to have a beer and could trust to have your back no matter what. Rail Black is the ultimate expression of the US Marines: “Your best friend, your worst enemy.”
Most reviewers focus on the story and characters, with justification. Russell’s characters are fascinating while his plot twists remain coherent as they bend your mind. This is particularly the case in Beverly Hills Is Burning, as he weaves in real-life legendary figures like Myer Lansky, Lucky Luciano, and Howard Hughes.
For me, it’s Russell’s writing itself. Gems like: “He had an Italian actress on his arm who could have stood next to a Ferrari and nobody would have noticed the car.” (From City of War) His observations are spot on: “Washington has a class of people that can only exist in a city where they don’t manufacture anything but trouble.” (From Wildcase)
Often, his observations are both spot on and excruciatingly funny: “Russians are immune to both reason and the bludgeon. The only thing you can do with a Russian is give him what he wants or kill him. Unfortunately, even if you give him what he wants, sooner or later, you’re probably going to have to kill him anyway.” (Wildcase: think of Putin in Ukraine!)
Beverly Hills Is Burning is chock full of these gems and insights that make you laugh and say to yourself, “I didn’t know that!” So enjoy the story, the characters, and above all the writing. But before you do, be sure and read the Preface, A Note From Neil Russell. It explains how he knows so much about Hollywood, and how you can trust what he says about it.
Oh, and not to spoil anything, but “Beverly Hills” is not Beverly Hills, where both Russell and Rail Black reside. You’ll enjoy learning why.
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.
This entire review is pretty much a ***SPOILER***!
To start out, there is some strong language and there are some pretty explicit sex scenes, but these are not a focal point of the story.
I got this book Free for Kindle app, because this is how indie authors make their money, by giving stuff away. This is book #3 of the Rail Black series, so Russell did make beer money, because I wanted to read the first two books before this one. Beverly Hills Burning can be read first, but the 1st two books give you background information that helps you get a better handle on the characters.
I do not know how rich Rail Black is supposed to be, but suffice it to say, money is never an issue to accomplish his goals. I also am not sure how tall he is, but Tom Cruise could never play him in a movie. :) He is former Delta and has a self-deprecating sense of humor.
Rail Black likes to help out people with problems. How he does this is what makes all three of these books so good. In this case, we have two really good stories, one with a timeline in the 1930s and the other in the present. The trick is to connect the two in a plausible manner so it doesn't look contrived. A movie script and huge diamond that is cause for murder in the '30s returns to have the same effect in the present time, and it is up to Rail to sort it all out. This he doe quite masterfully.
This is an excellent read, even if you have to pay for it! :)
I’ve read Neil Russell’s previous novels and enjoyed them completely. The characters, the situations, the bad guys and the exotic locales. Most of all, the complexity of the stories.
But Beverly Hills is Burning isn’t like anything else. It’s not even like any other Hollywood novel. I work in the movie business, and this is as inside as it gets. It’s like stepping into a motion picture, only a lot more dangerous—and sexual. And I defy anyone to figure out the ending before you get to it.