NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE!
A razor-sharp, exquisitely paced, madly fun debut thriller that gleefully lampoons Hollywood culture and introduces the highly eccentric yet brilliant ex-detective gone rogue: Charlie Waldo
There are run-of-the-mill eccentric Californians, and then there's former detective Charlie Waldo.
Waldo, a onetime LAPD superstar, now lives in solitude deep in the woods, pathologically committed to owning no more than one hundred possessions. He has left behind his career and his girlfriend, Lorena, to pay self-imposed penance for an awful misstep on a pivotal murder case. But the old ghosts are about to come roaring back.
There are plenty of difficult actors in Hollywood, and then there's Alastair Pinch.
Alastair is a onetime Royal Shakespeare Company thespian who now slums it as the "wise" Southern judge on a tacky network show. He's absurdly rich, often belligerent, and typically drunk—a damning combination when Alastair's wife is found dead on their living room floor and he can't remember what happened.
Waldo's old flame Lorena, hiding peril of her own, draws him toward the case, and Alastair's greedy network convinces Waldo to take it on. But after such a long time away from both civilization and sleuthing—and plagued by a confounding array of assailants who want him gone—Waldo must navigate complicated webs of ego and deceit to clear Alastair's name...or confirm his guilt.
Former LAPD detective Charlie Waldo, the PI hero of TV writer-producer Gould's quirky first novel, is living in a cabin in the woods with no plumbing when he receives an unexpected visitor, former girlfriend Lorena. Lorena asks Waldo to take the case of TV star Alistair Pinch, who's accused of murdering his wife in a drunken stupor; others later threaten him with dire consequences if he does take the case. Nasty whether drunk or sober, Pinch loves only his five-year-old daughter, Gaby, but he's a great actor and may not have killed his wife, so Waldo agrees to investigate. Traveling all over Los Angeles by bike, Waldo succeeds in getting beaten up by a succession of strangers, including a thug who wants some item that he claims Lorena gave Waldo, who has no idea what he's talking about. On the plus side, Waldo is befriended by Jayne White, Gaby's beautiful kindergarten teacher, who's much more than she seems. Well-drawn characters compensate for the loosely tied-together, sometimes confusing plot.
Well written, fast paced, with laugh out loud moments. And you gotta love that a Brompton folding bicycle in on the list of 100 items the minimalist Charlie Waldo owns.