Hollywood P.I. Johnny Slagle is asked to find out what happened when a studio's fading star allegedly hit and killed a young woman while drunk driving. Faced with a cover-up, Johnny quits the studio job and vows to bring the killer to justice, even as various forces converge against him, in Day Keene's Love Me and Die.
I have been a Day Keene fan since ever since I read Home is the Sailor, and I try to find the pulp writer's work wherever I can. I felt lucky to nab this from www.paperbackswap.com.
I learned later I got a better deal than I thought as this book is a bit rare, having been expanded by fellow pulpster Gil Brewer in an uncredited turn. Although I have not read anything from Brewster, I understand he is another genre writer who could use some rediscovering.
No matter what its origins, Love Me and Die is brisk and tough as Johnny plows through the sordid underbelly of Hollywood (as if there is any other kind) as the corpses stack up around him. He makes the enemy of studio bosses on down to underworld yeggs, and angers a few dames as well. A really enjoyable slice of noir with some go-go Hollywood mixed in.