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The Long-Lost Manuscript of Lou Beach

by Don O'Melveny

Pub Date: June 16th, 2012
Publisher: Sanyata Press

Hollywood noir mashed up with Cuban missile crisis-conspiracy theories and the shadowy death of Marilyn Monroe.

The author tells readers that in 2008 he accidentally uncovered something remarkable—a hidden manuscript purportedly written by a man who became an unwitting pawn in the conspiracy to kill Marilyn Monroe. Then things get weird. The tale of Lou Beach—a struggling Hollywood scribe who disappeared immediately after Marilyn departed this world—is a two-fisted, gin-soaked detective yarn worthy of Chinatown. There are hard-boiled gumshoes, beautiful dames and unrepentant dreamers. When Beach first appears in the book, he’s little more than a lettered ne’er-do-well ready to chuck his typewriter and go back to work for his old man after striking out in Hollywood. However, unbeknownst to Beach, he’s the kind of guy a certain nefarious group of conspirators has been looking for. Cherie is the beguiling ingénue who captures Beach’s heart but will stop at nothing to become a star. But that’s only part of this slickly concocted suspense tale of pseudo-reality. The really wild events unfold after Beach’s screenplay fades to black and the astonishing postscripts involving the author, a double agent and the KGB kick in. Was Lou Beach’s account of who actually killed Marilyn Monroe for real? Is the author’s explanation of the events subsequent to the discovery of Beach’s manuscript true? Could it all somehow be true? The very fact alone that this tale of scandal, espionage and intrigue could elicit these questions is testament to the effectiveness of the plot. Ultimately, many may not buy, even for one moment, that Marilyn’s death was a warm-up for even more dastardly deeds that would soon follow—but the possibility makes for a dark and fascinating read.

An often thrilling and multidimensional literary experience.