It’s always sunny in California until you walk on the wrong side of Sunset Boulevard. And yet the bright lights still call to thousands, and every day new arrivals fill the ranks of Hollywood’s underworld of teenaged runaways and hopeful stars turned hookers and strippers. Their stories are too wretched and too sad for society’s attention, but when a high-profile lawyer is murdered at the Chateau Marmont, lackluster detective Jimmy McCann takes to the streets and finds himself enmeshed in a complex web of prostitution and drugs, learning that the killer, a young girl named Casey, is a victim in her own right…
Jarrettsville: a novel (M)
by Cornelia Nixon
Based on a true story, Jarretsville is the account of a love affair and a murder in a small Maryland town that is rebuilding after the Civil War. Written from more than a dozen different perspectives, Cornelia Nixon’s tale centers on a pair of star-crossed lovers: Martha Jane Cairnes and Nicholas McComas. In the days following President Lincoln’s assassination and the Confederate surrender. Martha’s hotheaded brother Richard, who belongs to the same Rebel militia as John Wilkes Booth, has gone missing. Meanwhile, Martha is loyal to her brother but in love with Nicholas, a local hero of the Union cause. After fifty former Union soldiers and militiamen bear witness to Nicholas’s cold-blooded murder at the hands of a beautiful young woman, it seems the ghosts of the war have come back to haunt Jarrettsville. Cornelia Nixon breathes life into a story mined from the depths of history; from a town where brothers fought on opposing sides and former slave-owners lived next door to abolitionists and freedmen.”
“Based on a real case whose lurid details scandalized Americans in 1927 and sold millions of newspapers, from the acclaimed author of Atticus and Mariette in Ecstasy comes a stylish novel set in the hard-drinking, fast-living New York City of the Jazz Age that follows two lovers in a torrid affair on an arc of murder and sexual self-destruction. Trapped in a loveless marriage, Ruth Snyder is a voluptuous, reckless, and altogether irresistible woman who wishes not only to escape her husband but that he die—and the sooner the better. No less miserable in his own tedious marriage is Judd Gray, a dapper corset-and-brassiere salesman who travels the Northeast peddling his wares. He meets Ruth in a Manhattan diner and soon they are conducting a white-hot affair involving hotel rooms, secret letters, clandestine travels, and above all, Ruth’s increasing insistence that Judd kill her husband.