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By Alex Metcalf

Restless Ego, June 28, 2011 ($2.99)
Kindle eBook: ($0.99)

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

Noir fans will devour this book! It should also appeal to casual readers who are willing to take a trip to the seamier side of L.A. — miles and miles from where the celebrities with big names hang out.

Marley's life has seen the upside and downside of the Hollywood lifestyle, from the glamorous highs of sex, drugs, gorgeous women, money, and the celebrity that goes with being a Hollywood "producer" to the lows of living out of the backseat of his 1993 Ford Mustang. Right now, his life is somewhere in the lower end of "okay" — just above homeless. When Buzz Baxter, his former partner, phones and needs his help to locate a missing actress before anyone gets wind that she's missing, Marley is leery of Buzz and the "job," as well he should be.

The first sentence will grab the reader's attention and from there, it's a fast-paced tour through the California dream. Or nightmare, depending on your perspective.

Not every writer can pull off the traditional, or should I say classic, hardboiled style. Especially in a contemporary setting. Metcalf has suceeded beyond my expectations. Marley is a character I would like to meet again.

Although this is the author's first novel, it is clearly not the work of a beginning writer. Over the past decade, the writer has honed his writing talents as a screenwriter.

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