For Fans of Hollywood Noir and novels by Elmore Leonard and Michael Connolly comes a new crime novel from a Hollywood insider and true crime writer.
Former Detroit homicide detective Edwin Blake broke into show business as a script consultant on cop movies. Now living in Los Angeles five years later, Blake is suffering from clinical depression, is no longer in demand in film and TV – and money is short. But things look up when Blake gets a call from wealthy, oddball producer, Jason “JP” Perry, telling him he wants to hire him for a future cable TV series. But there’s a catch. First he wants Blake to locate the missing ex-wife of a “friend of a friend” from Chicago. Blake will be working for free on a promise – a typical Hollywood hustle. But Blake’s not the only one on the case. Hired gun Warren Poole has also been contracted to find the woman.
When a corrupt Hollywood producer, an ex-cop with a conscience, and a career criminal without one all have the same quarry, trouble is bound to ensue. And it does, with remarkably satisfying results, thanks to Blake's girlfriend, Carla, a former roller derby queen who has turned more than her own life around. Filled with rich characters both easy to love and hate, BELOW THE LINE skewers Hollywood in a deliciously fresh way.
With his expert eye for true crime detail and his prowess at executing elaborate plot, Cauffiel gives us a thrilling ride on the dark side of Hollywood that lingers long after the credits roll.
This transgressive L.A. crime yarn from screenwriter and true crime author Cauffiel (House of Secrets) follows former Detroit homicide detective Edwin Blake as he tries to make ends meet in Tinseltown without getting hustled. Blake's five-year run as a script consultant for cop shows has taken a recent downturn when he gets a call from hotshot producer JP Perry, who lures the detective to his Malibu estate with the promise of a real "above the line" writing gig—so long as Blake promises to find the missing ex-wife and daughter of a "friend of a friend" from Chicago. Unbeknownst to Blake, he isn't the only person Perry has sent on the women's trail, and before long, Blake finds himself competing with a major Vegas criminal. Cauffiel takes clever digs at the false promises of Hollywood and its denizens while evocatively walking readers through the city's seedier corners. Less successful is his need to fold in every clichéd entertainment industry vice—drugs, strippers, pedophilia—which do little more than add color for color's sake. This is a fizzy good time, but nothing substantial.