Saturday, August 15, 2020

Seven top thrillers about filmmakers & subversive art

Kate Reed Petty's new novel is True Story.

At CrimeReads she tagged "seven thrillers that go behind the camera to expose what the art and craft of filmmaking reveal about how we all think of ourselves and our life stories." One title on the list:
The Song is You by Megan Abbott

The earliest books in Abbott’s renowned oeuvre are accomplished, twisty L.A. noirs that dangle the noir tradition off a fire escape by the heels. The Song is You, her second novel, is a subversive gutting of the starlet “dead girl” trope. Abbott’s gumshoe, Hop, is a former tabloid journalist turned publicist who is only barely troubled by his own self-serving lack of empathy, especially for the women whose public images and lives he is supposed to control (on behalf of his own studio bosses). The novel starts two years after Hop helped brush something under the rug—the disappearance of Jean Spangler (a real-life true-crime mystery), a night when Hop was nearby; the appearance of another bystander, Iolene, gives Hop a task of covering up almost as much as he uncovers. The mystery is dark and intelligent, whizzing through a version of old Hollywood’s underbelly that almost seems familiar to noir fans—but which spotlights the cracks in that old story. For Abbott fans who haven’t gone back to the beginning, don’t wait.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Song is You is among Laura Lippman's top ten books about missing persons.

--Marshal Zeringue