Loser's Town by Daniel Depp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
After sleazy “fixer” Richie Stella does up-and-coming movie star Bobby Dye a favor by making a problem disappear, Bobby finds himself the subject of blackmail. Aware of what a scandal could do to his fledgling career, Dye hires PI David Spandau to sort Richie and the mess out. But this being Hollywood, things are, of course, not quite what they seem.
Daniel Depp ( brother of actor Johnny ) steps out of his role as screenwriter and into that of novelist in his first work, a wise-cracking modern noir detective story set in Hollywood. Depp introduces us here to David Spandau, one-time stuntman-turned-investigator. Spandau has all the requisite features of a noir PI: he’s weary and cynical, he drinks, he wise-cracks his way through life, he is the ban of his grumpy boss’s life, he’s still in love with his ex-wife, and deep down he feels he’s on the side of the angels. The plot doesn’t throw up too many surprises within the genre either.
But familiarity in this case is a good thing well enough done by Depp. The story jogs along at a nice pace, the characters interact with lines that occasionally make you actually laugh out loud, and Depp’s writing style, although simplistic, is entertaining enough to get away with it. If there is one thing I appreciate about how screenwriters handle novel-writing it is that they have learned the value of “less is more”. They know when a sentence will suffice rather than a paragraph. The fact that the plot is as thin as your average supermodel is neither here nor there.
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