BOOK GROUPIE: Author's Hollywood connections make mystery ring truer
Strolling through the Briargate library recently, a name caught my eye. The name was Depp. And, no, it wasn’t on the cover of a celebrity magazine, it was on a book spine. And, no, it didn’t belong to the famous actor Johnny. It belonged to his half-brother Daniel.
Daniel Depp is a making a name for himself in books. His 2009 debut “Loser’s Town” (Simon and Schuster, 290 pages) features private investigator David Spandau. An ex-stuntman, Spandau is familiar with Los Angeles and uses his connections to help solve cases there.
In “Loser’s Town,” Spandau is hired to protect up-and-coming actor Bobby Dye. A local gangster has some serious dirt on Dye and if the brash young actor doesn’t agree to star in the gangster’s movie, perfectly coiffed heads are going to roll. Spandau steps in to save the day, but along the way, he experiences much danger and sorrow.
Daniel Depp has stated in numerous interviews that he considered using a pseudonym, but felt his family connections would give his work “veracity.” I think he made a wise choice. Some of the book’s Hollywood scenes did come across as more real to me, simply because the author’s brother is a movie star.
Regardless of his name, “Loser’s Town” would not have worked if the author didn’t have talent. In one of my favorite bits in the book, Spandau is considering leaving Los Angeles for good, but there’s something about the city that has drawn him — and so many others — to it.
If you squinted hard enough, you could imagine what brought them here, all those people. There was a beauty still there, sometimes, beneath all the corruption, like in the face of an actress long past her prime, when the outline of an old loveliness can still be glimpsed through the desperate layers of pancake and eyeliner.
Daniel Depp has a second Spandau novel out. “Babylon Nights” is also available through the Pikes Peak Library District.
Anita Laydon Miller has recommended hundreds of titles in nearly 200 Book Groupie columns. This is Laydon Miller’s final column, but not the end of her writing career. She is working on a Master of Fine Arts in writing popular fiction and continues to post reviews on a social networking site for readers, Goodreads. For information on how to receive Laydon Miller’s Goodreads reviews, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.