ALICE IN LA-LA LAND by Robert Campbell
Kirkus Star


Email this review


Back to Campbell's L.A., where ""whores, catamites, twangie boys, and transsexuals"" parade around Hollywood and Vine--and where downbeat shamus Whistler (In La-La Land We Trust) has a new client: sexy Nell, who needs a bodyguard because she wants to divorce her rich-and-famous husband, top talk-show host Roger Twelvetrees. Nell fears Roger's harassment--or worse. True enough, someone seems to be tailing Nell, even breaking in to take indiscreet photos. But Whistler soon figures out what the reader knows from the start: that the creepy surveillance of Nell is somehow connected to a nasty murder at a trendy gay bar. And though the hit-man's identity is no secret, there are plenty of unknowns to be uncovered. What is femme fatale Nell really up to? Just how psycho-kinky is Roger--who abuses whores and lusts after his own daughter (from a previous marriage)? And what's the hidden agenda of the creepy, handsome, effeminate hit-man called Connor Spinneran? The neo-Ross-Macdonald plotting here is downright baroque, complete with wild coincidences and the most unlikely sex-secret since Josephine Tey's To Love and Be Wise. But, unlike most chroniclers of down-decadent-and-dirty L.A., Campbell dishes up the ugliness in spare, crisply deadpan narration, long on repartee and short on purple prose. So, for those who like it nasty, grim, and garish: a classy, vivid nightmare.

Pub Date: Nov. 2nd, 1987
Publisher: Poseidon/Simon & Schuster