Cover image for Malicious intent : a Hollywood fable
Malicious intent : a Hollywood fable
Walker, Mike (Brian E.)
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Baltimore, MD : Bancroft Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
399 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


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Reilly Heartwood, a famous country singer, is dead. His sister doesn't recognize the dead man's body. The local reverend has refused to permit burial. Reilly's death is ruled a suicide. And no one has bothered to investigate.What the hell is going on here? That's what Shep Harrington, a 32-year-old divorced and disbarred lawyer, wants to know, and can't quite answer. The deeper he probes, the more he's drawn into reconstructing the final minutes of Reilly's life, the more he's compelled to confront his own past, and to ultimately learn the startling truth about his mother, Reilly, and himself.Shep comes easily to his new role of amateur sleuth. Because of his own recent experience, he's deeply distrustful of authority, having just spent three years in prison for a white collar crime he didn't commit. Yet, in digging out the particulars of Reilly's demise, he is neither bitter nor uncaring, and the book manages adroitly to be an engaging whodunnit set in a small town.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Walker, a gossip columnist with the National Enquirer, presents Hollywood at its most vicious in this novel of ambition, greed, and revenge. Charmain Burns rises from Florida white trash to Hollywood stardom at an early age. Along the way, she leaves a trail of kinky sex and violence: castrations, murders, rapes. After Charmain sets in motion the accidental death of a reporter who has written an unflattering story about her, she is the object of constant surveillance by the reporter's editor and a maniac stalker. These actions come at the worst possible time, for Charmain is seeking the lead in Medusa, a film about an ambitious actress willing to kill for a prized movie role. Walker uses flashbacks to explain how Charmain got to Hollywood; and he is clearly profiling the new breed of female star--tough and business minded, prone to outrageous behavior, outspoken, and independent. But he also provides a scathing portrait of greedy, malicious reporters, directors, and agents in this intense novel about Hollywood. --Vanessa Bush

Publisher's Weekly Review

For his first foray into fiction, National Enquirer writer Walker, author (with Faye Resnick) of Nicole Brown Simpson: Private Diary of a Life Interrupted, dreams up an over-the-top, tabloid-style thriller littered with real-life Hollywood references and thinly veiled fantasy sequences featuring recognizable characters. Hit actress Charmain Burns, the bad-girl star of TV show BevHills High, wants to punish tabloid reporter Steve Bellini after he publishes unflattering pictures of her beating a horse, but her method of retribution accidentally causes his death. The ensuing investigation drags in fashion designers, drug smugglers, a stalker called Randak 2000, who thinks he's from outer space, power brokers, CIA agents and another tabloid reporter, Cameron Tull, who eventually pieces together the life story Charmain is desperate to keep secret. The actress has good reason to fear exposure: since the day she murdered her abusive mother at age 12, she has been a magnet for crime and violence. As she works her way up from beauty queen to Hollywood star, even her one true love interest, wealthy French Creole charmer Patrick Taulere, comes to a gory end. Seducing men and women alike and armed at all times with a pistol and a straight razor, Charmain almost always gets what she wants, but as her various pursuers close in on her after Bellini's death, her lifeÄand, almost as important, her Hollywood careerÄhangs in the balance. She is about to be offered a lead role in a feature film, but dead bodies are piling up as fast as tabloid clippings, and a final macabre encounter with the otherworldly Randak 2000 seals her fate. The sleaze factor is high, the plot convoluted, but Walker knows his material (and his audience) as well as anyone. Literary Guild featured alternate. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved