About the Book:
Tom Tanner has a dark past but he’s no murderer. Unfortunately, Mikey Echo—the spoiled son of the most powerful man in Hollywood—seems to think otherwise. After a young actor suffers an untimely demise out a thirty-fourth-floor window, handsome ex-con Tom is summoned to scrub the splatter below. At the scene, he learns that producer Mikey has an indecent proposal to make—and for Tom, that means signing a deal with the devil.
The rotten part is, things had finally been going Tom’s way. He’s got good steady work, a feisty woman to come home to, even a little notoriety for solving a string of grisly motel murders. Now Tom just wants this mad prince of Tinseltown to leave him alone. But the fatalist within braces for the inevitable: To get Mikey Echo off his back, someone must die.
Praise for Jeff Klima’s L.A. Rotten
“A really impressive debut . . . The book’s black humor reminded me a little of Donald E. Westlake, while the setting and dialogue could have come from Elmore Leonard. Those are two crime-writing legends whose names I don’t evoke lightly. Hopefully, L.A. Rotten is just the start for Jeff Klima.”—Crime Fiction Lover
“Eloquent, profound, hilarious, and redemptive, L.A. Rotten has a heart of gold.”—Dianne Emley, bestselling author of the Nan Vining mysteries
“A must-read novel for those who enjoy raw, ‘pulpy’ mysteries . . . Engrossing and satisfying, L.A. Rotten is a hard-boiled thriller that readers will be unable to put down.”—Gina Fava, author of The Sculptor
A young actor takes flight, through no fault of his own, and ends up splattered on the pavement 34 stories below. The whole world is in mourning while watching the latest news on Alan Van’s death. The headlines read the young man committed suicide, but as a few of the passersby watch on intently, there are a couple of people who know differently. How is it these two men know that this actor didn’t commit suicide? As Tom Tanner is summoned to the crime scene, or suicide as the media is trying to spin it, he notices two men who seem completely out of place. So much so, one actually comments to Tom that Alan was murdered. Say what? Why would anyone just state a fact like that as if they were there? That’s exactly what Tom wanted to know, and what he later finds out is that Hollywood isn’t just make-believe, but life come true.
Tom Tanner’s job is a very important function and one that most people don’t often think about. When someone dies, who cleans up after the deceased has long since moved on? It’s not something most of us want to think about, but Tom does just that. His successful death clean-up company, if you will, Trauma Be-Gone, goes out and handles the mess life leaves behind through death. And this scene was no different than some of the others he’s had to clean up. In fact, there wasn’t much he hasn’t seen.
When one of the bold spectators asks if he could borrow Tom’s services, it left him feeling a little on edge. But even though he wasn’t really feeling Ramen, the little man with so much to say, he decided to go out to dinner with him and see just what he was up to. When Tom finishes with his conversation, he learns that a very powerful movie producer would like to make his acquaintance. It was unfortunate that that one chance meeting turned Tom’s world into total mayhem.
Unfortunately, I didn’t really care much for this story. I loved Tom’s character with his toughness and raw personality and his sarcasm and quick wit was to die for, but the problem I had was where exactly was the mystery? There was plenty of Hollywood allure and factual information given, but I didn’t feel it had a rightful place in this story. When I think of a mystery, I think of a dead body and someone trying to figure out who done it. This story didn’t really take the reader there. In fact, you already knew who did it, but it’s more a matter of why this person did it. I couldn’t really figure out the true motive. There also seemed to be several stories wrapped up in one, but I didn’t feel the detail gave me much inside knowledge. The things I needed to know, I felt were lacking and what I didn’t care to know, were written in abundance. This isn’t a bad story; it just wasn’t my kind of mystery. In fact, I kept wondering as I read did I “miss-the-story?”
A Good-Looking Corpse reminded me of one of those old investigative-type movies, where your protagonist is the narrator taking you through the story, but the difference here being, I just didn’t get where I was really trying to go? The murderer was almost a joke to me and his story didn’t really do much for me. I didn’t feel there was enough detail about the mystery itself, but rather focused on the silly things, and I think that’s where I had my problem.
Mello & June gives A Good-Looking Corpse three stars. Overall, this wasn’t a bad read by any stretch, just wasn’t my style of mystery. A Good-Looking Corpse is on sale now and in stores wherever books are sold. I think many of you will like this book, and I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on it. Pick up a copy today.
Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer