Orion £10.99 tbo
Reviewed by Peter Guttridge
|Clea's Moon introduces
another new series protagonist and another prize-winner. US journalist
Edward Wright won the CWA's Debut Dagger Award 2001. You can see why.
This is an impressive, confident debut. What's particularly impressive
is the way that Wright recreates LA in the 1940s. The novel is heavy
with the sights and sounds of the city: from the neon-lit piers to
Central Avenue's jazz joints; from the wealthy enclaves in the Hollywood
Hills to the artists' colonies in the secluded wooded canyons. Then
there's Hollywood. Wright's main protagonist is a relic of pre-war B
movie westerns. Then he was Sierra Lane, hero to countless youngsters.
Now, after two years in prison, he's John Ray Horn, blacklisted by the
studios and obliged to make ends meet by collecting debts for his former
Indian costar, Joseph Mad Crow. Horn and Crow make an engaging duo and
Wright plots the story - girl in obscene photos on the run, old friend
killed - convincingly enough. It's the atmosphere I like best, though.