Depp, Daniel. Loser's town. Toronto: Penguin, 2009. 339pp.
I must admit I had pretty low expectations for this one. In fact, very low.
Daniel Depp, you see, is the half brother of Johnny. The prospect of reading a novel, not by a Hollywood star but by a relative of a Hollywood star certainly set off the alarm bells.
Serves me right for jumping to such conclusions. Depp's Loser's Town is terrific. It's basically a Hollywood hardboiled PI noir, set amongst the fakes and phonies of the film industry. The potential series character, David Spandau, is well drawn and believable -- a tough guy, smart, heart-broken and sensitive, has a lot of potential. The voice is strong and assured. I look forward to futher novels in the series, not because it mentions that another is coming, but because you have to believe that Depp won't be allowed to leave it at one.
The plot is appropriately convoluted but not improbable at all. It's dark enough by the end to keep even the most cynical reader happy.
Good stuff. Give it a try.
(Uncorrected proof supplied by publisher.)