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Beschreibung des Verlags
From the New York Times bestselling and internationally acclaimed author comes a Hollywood crime drama set in the 1940s and present day that tackles racism, sexism, and murder.
Karissa Glover is a movie producer who moves into a decrepit but functional old mansion in the West Adams Heights area of Los Angeles, where black celebrities of yesteryear—Hattie McDaniel, Louise Beavers, and others—once resided. The former owner was a white actress, Blair Kendrick, who often starred as the "bad girl"—a femme fatale—in films noirof the 1940s. However, Blair’s career was cut short when she was tragically killed by the mob after allegedly witnessing the slaying of a corrupt studio head in 1949.
As Karissa and her producing partner decide to develop a modern film noir about Blair Kendrick, malevolent forces from the past attempt to stop them—first with intimidation, and then with the thread of murder.
Is this because Karissa has learned that Blair was involved in a then-taboo interracial relationship with jazz musician Hank Marley? What really happened on the night that death struck in a dimly lit studio mogul’s office? The consequences of Blair and Hank’s doomed love affair still resonate in the present day as Karissa attempts to unravel Blair’s secrets.
Seeping with mystery, intrigue, Hollywood history, and forbidden romance, Blues in the Dark is Raymond Benson at his most insightful and page-turning best.
At the start of this tepid thriller from Benson (In the Hush of the Night), independent movie producer Karissa Glover, who is mixed-race, rents a house in L.A.'s West Adams Heights (a neighborhood favored by black celebrities such as Hattie McDaniel decades ago) that once belonged to white actress Blair Kendrick, who was killed in a supposedly mob-related hit in 1949. The place inspires Karissa to make a film about Blair's life, focusing on her romance with black jazz musician Hank Marley and the unwanted attention paid to her by the head of Ultimate Pictures. Karissa's film depicts the studio's heavies trying to break up Blair and Hank's relationship. Mean-while, modern execs use similar tactics to try to stop Karissa from making her film. Benson deserves credit for portraying the painful consequences of racism both then and now, but he does so by repeatedly using information dumps that feel intrusive rather than organic. Predictable twists and stereotypical villains, including Italian mobsters and a Jewish movie exec, don't help. The whole comes across like a B movie.