I’ve written about P.I. Jack LeVine before.
It’s 1947 and Jack LeVine runs into an old college friend he hasn’t seen since before the war. Walter Adrian had made a career in Hollywood writing screenplays. One LeVine had loved, another not so much.
Adrian looked terrible, worried about something. Laying one false story on LeVine, he finally admitted he was having contract problems and wanted His friend to come to Hollywood and find out why. A new contract was in negotiation and Warner Brothers not only wasn’t offering him a raise, they wanted to cut his pay.
LeVine heads for Hollywood and goes to Warner Brothers where Adrian was working late on a script, only to find him on the back lot on a western set hanging from a scaffold.
The police call it suicide, but LeVine was suspicious. The trapdoor he’d been standing on that killed him when he fell through didn’t allow Adrian to hit the lever that opened it. Bot to mention the lump on the back of his head.
LeVine decides to look into it.
But no one wants him doing that. Shots are taken at him, the police are warning him off, and the meeting with freshman Senator Richard Nixon reinforces what they consider the problem.
Remember this is 1947 and Nixon is heading up the west coast version of the House Un-American Activities Committee.
LeVine keeps plugging along. The highlight of the story is the inale, a long car chase and shootout with LeVine aided by none other than Humphrey Bogart doing the driving. Lauren Bacall was left behind at the party where it started.
A fun read.