Death by Hollywood: A Novel
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From the acclaimed co-creator of Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, and NYPD Blue, Death by Hollywood is a suspenseful, shocking, and darkly comic crime novel about a screenwriter, a billionaire's wife, a murder, and, of course, a cop.
"There used to be a writer by the name of Merle Miller, who wrote that people in Hollywood are always touching you--not because they like you, but because they want to see how soft you are before they eat you alive."
So begins this seductive and surprising novel by two-time Edgar Award–winning writer Steven Bochco, in which a down-on-his-luck screenwriter named Bobby Newman tries to turn a brutal murder into his next movie payday.
One day, while spying on his Hollywood Hills neighbors through his $4,000 Bushnell XR90 electronic telescope, Bobby sees a beautiful socialite making love to a handsome Latin actor named Ramon. When their pillow talk takes a turn for the ugly, Bobby watches in horror as the woman bludgeons her lover to death with his own acting trophy. Deciding to write about it instead of reporting it to the cops, Bobby insinuates himself into Detective Dennis Farentino’s murder investigation, forging an unusual friendship with the cop that turns out to be more complex than either of them had bargained for. Before long, Bobby has dragged the detective, his estranged wife, his lover, and his agent into a Hollywood fun-house hall of mirrors, where only the most manipulative player will survive.
Savvy, funny, sexy, and streetwise, Death by Hollywood is the tale Steven Bochco couldn't tell on television. It is the work of an ingenious storyteller, certain to enthrall readers from beginning to end.
chance to aggrandize yourself—i.e., to lie. I mean, how else are you supposed to get good at something if you can’t practice? I’m telling you this because I happened to attend, albeit reluctantly, the premiere of the latest Tom Hanks movie, as well as the party immediately following, in a giant tent set up a block away from the movie theater in Westwood. I was there because I represent one of the six credited writers on the movie, Bobby Newman, which is how I can tell you the next part of the
writing. Every once in a while, you have an idea for something that’s really exciting, that really means something to you. Maybe it’s something of a thematic nature, maybe it’s just a good story that you’ve found a quirky point of view on or a great character or whatever. But when that happens, writing is the most unbelievably satisfying thing you can do, and when you’re not doing it, all you can think about is getting back to it. But then there are the times (most of the time, actually, at least
at the brass ring, he wouldn’t fuck it up again. These reflections on the moral implications of success and failure are brought to you by Dennis Farentino, ladies and gentlemen, as he winds his way up the Hollywood Hills toward Bobby’s house, speed-dialing A.D.A. Lynette Alvarez as he drives. When she comes on the line, Dennis says, “Lynnie, this is Dennis . . . I’m good. You? . . . I know, I’ve been jammed with this Ramon Montevideo deal . . . I know, I will, I promise. Soon. But lookit, I
New York when the company’s on location. Seven, a dozen first-class plane tickets. Plus, eight, additional security to shield this clown from his adoring public. By now, the lawyer’s running out of fingers. It’s like the twelve fucking days of Christmas. The executive producer laughs out loud. “You’ve got to be kidding,” he says. Unfazed, the lawyer comes back with plan B. “If you’re not willing to meet the first set of demands,” he says, “there’s a second set of demands that would not make
Daniel as happy but that he’s willing to live with.” And then he starts with the fingers again. “Sixty-five thousand per episode, Fridays off, the office, the development executive, the tickets, the suites, the trailer, and, last but not least, the final seven episodes off so he can have a larger window of opportunity for doing feature films during the hiatus.” The executive producer is shaking his head in disbelief. Can you imagine letting the star of your show take a leave of absence for