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It’s 1940. Canadian journalist Mike Ward, fresh off assignments in Paris, London, Moscow, and Berlin, thinks he’s seen it all: the rise of charismatic dictators, the fall of governments, political intrigues too bizarre to believe.
Yet despite his tenure in fascist Europe, nothing could have prepared him for his latest posting: Hollywood, where the glitz and glamour of the silver screen mingles with the grit and grime of the criminal underworld. Ward’s latest assignment, to cover the “suicide” of a studio executive, is bound to drag him deeper into the shadows of America’s bright lights.
Set during a time of upheaval in the capital of cinema, and populated by a who’s who of colourful historical personalities from both the film and criminal worlds, City of Fallen Angels — the latest from Arthur Ellis Award-winner Howard Engel — is a classic period whodunit with a Canadian twist.
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Howard Engel is the creator of the acclaimed Benny Cooperman mystery series, which has been published in more than 15 languages and adapted into two TV movies produced by the CBC and broadcast around the world. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2007, won the Writers' Trust of Canada Matt Cohen award for a life in writing in 2004, and received an honourary doctorate from Brock University. Engel experienced a mild stroke several years ago, leaving him unable to read but still able to write. His experiences of this condition, alexia sine agraphia, have been written about by Oliver Sacks in The New Yorker and in a recent book. Since his diagnosis, Engel continues to write prolifically and has detailed living with his condition through a memoir (The Man Who Forgot How to Read) and in his acclaimed Benny Cooperman series (Memory Book).Review:
“This is a terrific novel from one of Canada’s most celebrated authors. It has all Engel’s trademark wit, with his superb command of the noir genre in a style uniquely his own.” (The Globe and Mail)
“As an evocation of Hollywood just before the U.S. entered the Second World War, it’s very entertaining.” (Now Magazine)
“A captivating, fun read.” (Ottawa Review of Books)
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