Review of L.A. Times by Stuart Woods

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Vinnie Calabrese has one burning interest in life, film. All his spare time is spent at the movies and he finances his obsession buy running errands for the mob. Unintentionally, he arises in the mafia hierarchy, but something goes very wrong and one day he is ordered to kill a fellow criminal in a very risky hit. Instead he kills the Don - the leader - of the family, and manages to get away with it.

During daytime, Vinnie is taking film classes, and together with another student he makes a brilliant debut movie for himself. A famous and influential Hollywood boss buys the rights for the film ‘Downtown Nights’ and hires Vinnie to his staff, so the young film interested kid becomes a hot shot filmmaker in the heart of the industry. This is a beginning of a new life for Vinnie Calabrese with Italian heritage who becomes the pretty-boy Michael Vincent with a blank history and a clean record. All the pieces are falling into place in Michael’s life. A grand salary, beautiful women and a new Porsche and he is actually starting to legitimatise himself, slowly. Michael’s films are making big cash and the boss is happy. Although he hasn’t left the criminal methods of “negotiating” behind him, so in order to get a manuscript, he suddenly has to kill a person. The conscience doesn’t let him down but Michael leaves traces of his deed.

Now he’s in trouble. The cops and feds are after Michael, and his illegal finances don’t help the stressed situation. But everything can be bought with the right amount of money, even the police, so he buys the justice and is off the hook for this time. His rough and sometimes brutal behaviour makes him a lot of enemies, but the biggest of them seem to be his own newly created sense of greed. Michael’s ambition is now to take over the entire film company, even if it means destroying his mentor, boss and best friend, Leo Goodman. So the whole board is gathered to decide the future destiny of Centurion Pictures, when Michael makes his move and starts shooting everyone present like a madman. Everyone dies and the book ends with a surreal vision from inside Michael when he leaves the earth and enters the lights of heaven…

Sorry to reveal the ending but I doubt that you will ever read the book. Not that it is bad, no, the book is hard to stop reading and contains many neat formulations and is built on a realistic story. The probability that you will read L.A. Times is rather small because Sweden has unfortunately not yet discovered the author, and my copy of the book is purchased in America.

I have read several books by Stuart Woods before, so I had high expectations when I started reading the first page of L.A. Times. Neither this time, the blockbuster author made me disappointed. Every page is filled with excitement; bloody action sequences and erotic parts. The fame and glory of Hollywood is described – at least as it seems – realistically. No one is to be trusted. It is a typical Stewart Woods book, when you least expect it, the story twists around and the good guy becomes t...

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Inactive member [2000-09-18]   Review of L.A. Times by Stuart Woods
Mimers Brunn [Online]. [2021-06-15]

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