City of Fallen Angels

Mysterious Book Report No. 452

by John Dwaine McKenna

City of Fallen Angels, (Legend Press, PB, $15.95, 222 pages, ISBN 978-1-78955-981-1), by Paul Buchanan, is a debut novel that announces in a loud and clear voice, the arrival of a first-rate new author, writing in a classic noir tradition.

The novel opens in Los Angeles.  It’s August of 1962 and the city is sweltering in a relentless heat wave that has residents ready to explode.  Marilyn Monroe has been  found dead in her bungalow, and crime reporter turned private eye, Jim Keegan’s mother has also just died, leaving him a small house in an exclusive neighborhood and a lively little Scotch Terrier named Nora.  That’s when Keegan—who’s scratching out a living, but isn’t getting rich—is approached by a mysterious man who offers the equivalent of three years income, if the beleaguered PI can locate a certain young woman, identified only by her photograph.  But something seems fishy about the man, and although he’d love to have the money, Keegan turns him down.

Only one day later, the young woman in the photograph, who’s staying at her uncle’s place, is seen from Keegan’s back yard.  Eve is her name, and she comes to Keegan’s place because she thinks she’s being stalked by some thugs.  Keegan believes her after seeing a strange car with two toughs in it, casing the neighbor’s house.  Knowing she’s alone while her actor uncle is away for a few days, Keegan loans Eve a gun.  But when she uses it to kill someone, the cops begin looking at Keegan himself for the murder and his personal nightmare filled with theft, deception, mayhem, lust and murder begins.  Is Eve a femme fatale, or a naive young girl in an impossible situation?  Will Keegan come out unscathed . . . or be framed . . . and railroaded into prison for a crime he didn’t do?  The only way to get the answers, is to get a copy of this superbly plotted noir thriller and read it for yourself.  You’ll be happy you did, and be in at the start of what promises to be an outstanding series!


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