Pagan Jones went from America's sweetheart to fallen angel in one fateful night in 1960: the night a car accident killed her whole family. Pagan was behind the wheel and driving drunk. Nine months later, she's stuck in the Lighthouse Reformatory for Wayward Girls and tortured by her guiltnot to mention the sadistic Miss Edwards, who takes special delight in humiliating the once-great Pagan Jones.
But all of that is about to change. Pagan's old agent shows up with a mysterious studio executive, Devin Black, and an offer. Pagan will be released from juvenile detention if she accepts a juicy role in a comedy directed by award-winning director Bennie Wexler. The shoot starts in West Berlin in just three days. If Pagan's going to do it, she has to decide fastand she has to agree to a court-appointed "guardian," the handsome yet infuriating Devin, who's too young, too smooth and too sophisticated to be some studio flack.
The offer's too good to be true, Berlin's in turmoil and Devin Black knows way too much about herthere's definitely something fishy going on. But if anyone can take on a divided city, a scheming guardian and the criticism of a world that once adored her, it's the notorious Pagan Jones. What could go wrong?
Fallen starlet Pagan Jones has a chance at redemption when a mysterious film studio flack springs her from reform school with another shot at stardom. The film shoot lands 17-year-old Pagan a struggling alcoholic who killed her father and sister in a drunk-driving wreck after her mother committed suicide in Berlin, the city of her mother's birth, where she seeks clues to her past while untangling a nefarious political plot unfolding in troubled 1960s Germany. Berry's (the Otherkin series) noirish writing blends the blinding spotlight of Hollywood, the sexy world of espionage, and a smattering of real-life events and figures to create a fast-paced spy thriller. Chapter titles blare like the headlines of inky tabloids ("Killer Starlet Refuses to Shack Up with Guardian"), and Pagan's trousseau is peppered with designer labels such as Chanel, evoking a bygone era of glamour and sophistication. Pagan is realistically flawed and complex ("Who was she tonight? Actress or drunk? A movie star, or a villain?"), using her skills on the stage to manipulate men, gain state secrets, and make a daring escape from the divided city. Ages 14 up.