The last time the United States looked on its own citizens with suspicion, the results were ruined dreams, shattered lives…and murderin Jerry Ludwig’s Blacklist
Today, people point fingers and shout, “terrorist!” Not long ago, the accusation was “Communist!” Many who testified before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee said they did so out of desperation and fear. Those who refused to speak were fired or blacklisted. Others fled rather than betray friends…or their belief in American liberty.
David Weber and Jana Vardian were Hollywood’s golden children; their fathers, successful screenwriters, mingled with stars and studio moguls. Then HUAC shattered their idyll, sending David and his parents into exile in Europe; Jana’s father testified and soon became a famous director.
Returning to Los Angeles as an adult to bury his father, David comes to the attention of FBI agent Brian McKenna, who is still eager for a big case. The somewhat jaded McKenna remains eager for a big case. Jana Vardian watched her father torture himself after testifying; David’s return painfully reminds her that she once believed in love and loyalty.
When people with ties to HUAC and to David’s father begin turning up dead, long-buried secrets are dragged into the open. McKenna quickly tags David as the prime suspect, but in a world where special effects can turn a man into a beast, Hollywood’s sheen of glamour cannot long mask its dark past.
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So I’m sprawled in a lounge chair next to the swimming pool at the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood wondering where Teddy is. Theodore Weaver, my father, best friend, and mentor. A brilliant, witty, extraordinary screenwriter. He died in my arms in Rome four nights ago after he finished editing the movie he’d directed that was to be his comeback achievement. Heart attack at the brutally young age of forty-eight.
Despite the aching loss that permeated me and the feeling of being totally alone in a world where no one gives a damn
“An intense, vivid kaleidoscope of a serious novel masquerading as a whodunit.”
—John Weisman, New York Times bestselling author
“Talk about an epoch of dishonest politicians, unscrupulous media, and endemic contempt for the Bill of Rights! Jerry Ludwig serves up a solid pro's view of the movie business during the deadliest years of the Cold War.”
—Michael Butler, co-screenwriter of Clint Eastwood's Pale Rider
“Absolutely riveting. Passionate and principled and sometimes very funny…a cautionary tale about an America when our biggest enemies were secrecy and silence.”
—Patricia Bosworth, author of Anything Your Little Heart Desires