Clea's Moon

Clea's Moon

3.79 (97 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
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Description

Once he was Sierra Lane, hero to countless youngsters in a series of B-movie westerns. Now, after two years in prison, John Ray Horn lives on the margins of post-World War II Los Angeles. His wife has left him, and, blacklisted by the studios, he makes ends meet by collecting debts for his old Indian co-star, Joseph Mad Crow. Then an old friend, Scotty, contacts Horn. He has come across some obscene photos, including one, several years old, of Horn's stepdaughter, Clea. Within days, Scotty is dead, and Clea has run away. Horn's search takes him from neon-lit ocean-front piers to wooded canyons, from rich homes in the Hollywood Hills to Central Avenue, the Harlem of LA, a street rich in jazz and corruption. But will the on-screen tough-guy hero be able to sustain his role off-screen?show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 110 x 176 x 28mm | 140.62g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Orion mass market paperback
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0752858947
  • 9780752858944

About Edward Wright

Edward Wright grew up in Arkansas and was a naval officer and a newspaperman before discovering the greater satisfaction of writing fiction. Although transplanted to California, he remains partial to barbecue and bluegrass music. He also has an affinity for film noir. Among his regrets are never having met Will Shakespeare, Robert E. Lee, or Hank Williams. He and his wife, Cathy, live in the Los Angeles area but get away whenever possible to the lakes and trails of the eastern Sierra Nevada. Edward was awarded the coveted CWA Ellis Peters Memorial Dagger for his novel RED SKY LAMENT in October 2006.show more

Review Text

Home to the works of Raymond Chandler and James Ellroy, Los Angeles is the classic location for noir crime thrillers; the mix of glitz and seediness is always attracting writers to explore the sun-drenched streets. Flashing back to the late 1940s, when the fledgling city was expanding its boundaries and becoming a true metropolis, this enjoyable page-turner (winner of the Crime Writer's Association Debut Dagger for Fiction) pitches a character more accustomed to the simplicity of Hollywood into LA's mean and shadowy underbelly. After a spell in prison, John Ray Horn's career as a B-Movie cowboy star is as wrecked as his marriage, and he now ekes out a living as a debt collector for an old co-star. When contacted by his friend Scotty about a stash of obscene photographs, John Ray thinks nothing of it - until he discovers a decade-old picture of his ex-stepdaughter Clea among them. Soon Scotty has plummeted suspiciously to his death, Clea has run away from home, and John Ray has to enter the sinister underworld of gang violence and child pornography if he's to uncover the unpleasant story behind the photograph. Strongest when evoking post-war LA, the novel effectively captures the sense of a city growing up too fast and fills in plenty of convincing background colour, while keeping the plot rattling on at an entertaining pace. Unfortunately, the characterization remains predictable throughout, and the plot fails to fully explore the contrast between the simple morals of the Cowboy universe and the menacing darkness John Ray has to enter in order to rescue his stepdaughter. Without the classic noir sense of corruption and moral uncertainty, there's little genuine jeopardy, and with the darker aspects of the uncompromising storyline kept safely out of sight, we're left with a entertaining but flawed debut that's too comfortable for its own good. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

97 ratings
3.79 out of 5 stars
5 21% (20)
4 45% (44)
3 27% (26)
2 7% (7)
1 0% (0)
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