A Hollywood ending is rewritten.
Dying of pancreatic cancer, Tim Ferris, former child star of the much-loved TV series The Big Happy Family, wants legendary, Pulitzer-winning journalist Ernest Ludington Thayer to tell the real story behind the 1972 murder spree that decimated his TV family—a story Ferris has documented on four tell-all tapes and a hidden fifth tape summarizing exactly who did what to whom. Too frail to fly to Los Angeles, 94-year-old Thayer sends his gum-chewing protégé Hunt Liebling, who has been blackballed from most media outlets by media baron Herbie Landau and subsists on his investigative blog, huntandpeck.com. Hunt barely has time to deplane in L.A. before a pair of assassins take out Ferris, his housekeeper and her husband, the old detective who purportedly solved the original killing spree. The killers next set their sights on Hunt’s New York contacts, including his brother and sister-in-law, Thayer, his aging helper and his girlfriend, and Hunt’s beautiful, vibrantly brilliant pal C.C. There are clues aplenty, but unfortunately they all point to Hunt as the killer. Now dubbed the Unablogger by the press and sought nationwide by the feds, he must find the fifth tape to clear himself.
Harlan Coben wannabe Handler (The Sour Cherry Surprise, 2008, etc.) almost pulls it off until the pat revelations on that fifth tape drag his fantasy back down to earth.