Wednesday, 6 March 2019
SAM WIEBE - HOLLYWOOD NORTH (2018)
In this original short story by the award-winning author of Cut You Down and Invisible Dead, private investigator Dave Wakeland finds himself behind the scenes of a lowbrow sitcom called Filthy Stinking Poor in gritty Vancouver, BC. When successful screenwriter (and unsuccessful poet) Paul Ling goes missing, his teenage daughter hires Wakeland to track him down.
To the shock of his family and colleagues, Ling's body is found within days in the home of a stranger, killed by a drug overdose--and Wakeland suspects foul play. Did Ling have a secret life that finally caught up with him, or did his search for realistic creative material for his writing take him down a dangerous path? In the world of bad television and cutthroat competition, Wakeland will need his wits about him to sort friend from foe.
Best short story ever? No, but a solid piece of work and another click on the scoreboard towards the year-end reading target.
Sam Wiebe's investigator, ex-cop Dave Wakeland is hired to look into the disappearance of Paul Ling, a TV writer, father and husband by the man's daughter. His wife thinks he's being all arty-farty and moody. He's swanned off to clear his head and she isn't too concerned. Ling is a frustrated poet. His creative energies consumed by having to work the day job to pay the bills, meet the obligations and generally behave like a grown-up.
His wife's outlook changes when his dead body is found a few days later, after an apparent drug overdose. Wakeland has his suspicions and digs into the death and the world of Vancouver TV studios, writing, screenplays, rivalry and during the course of his enquiries becomes a target himself.
I liked the peek behind the curtains on this world...... TV, filming, drugs, pressure, fame, scripts, responsibilities, jealousy, thwarted ambitions, misunderstandings and in this case murder.
I've read Wiebe's three novels to date - Last of the Independents, Cut You Down and Invisible Dead - the last two featuring Dave Wakeland. This story scratched the Wiebe - Vancouver itch and keeps me ticking over until his next novel drops, hopefully sometime soon. Sam Wiebe excels at portraying the seamy side of Vancouver, one that probably won't win him too many friend's with the city's tourist board.
This story also includes the first two chapters of Cut You Down.
Decent story line, credible pay-off, interesting main character, great setting - ticks in all the main boxes.
4 from 5
Read - February, 2019
Published - 2018
Page count - 38
Source - copy received from author
Format - ePub file read on laptop