Death by Hollywood Review
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Every morning, I read the latest celebrity gossip. I figure knowing what’s going on in Hollywood is just a part of my job. And I guess that’s why I find books like Death by Hollywood so intriguing. In it, Steven Bochco, who’s known for a mile-long list of TV series—including Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, NYPD Blue, and Blind Justice (which actually makes an interesting appearance in the book)takes readers inside the highs and lows of life in Hollywood.

Narrated by big-time Hollywood agent Eddie Jelko, Death by Hollywood tells the story of Jelko’s client, writer Bobby Newman. After a string of hits, Newman is down on his luck. He’s got writer’s block and a drinking problem, and his wife is cheating on him with a successful director. After Bobby confronts his wife (who promptly moves out), Bobby’s luck begins to change. That night, he’s lounging on the balcony of his home, spying on his neighbors through his telescope, when he pauses to watch a couple in an especially amorous position. But then things get ugly—and Bobby watches the woman kill the man, an actor named Ramon, with his own acting trophy.

Instead of reporting the crime to the police, Bobby sees it as the perfect opportunity to revive his struggling career. His plan is to scope out the crime scene, get into the heads of the key players, and write it into a screenplay that will bring him back to the top of his game.

If you often find yourself reading Page Six or flipping through People while waiting in line at the grocery store, you’ll enjoy Death by Hollywood. It’s all about the dirty little secrets, the back-stabbing, and the deceptions that seem to make Hollywood and its celebrities so very intriguing (much like Get Shorty). Bochco creates a wonderful narrator in Jelko. Though he appears to be on the outside of the story (until it comes together in the end), he tells the story with Hollywood panache, adding in his own opinions and jokes and asides. The story itself is captivating—with endless twists and turns.

Be warned that, like any good Hollywood rag, Death by Hollywood is definitely racy—in Hollywood, everyone’s sleeping with everyone else (or at least thinking about it). So there are plenty of scenes that make this a book that you won’t want to be listening to if your mom (or your teenage daughter) happens to be in the car. But it’s an intriguing, entertaining book nonetheless. If you love celebrity gossip, be sure to add this book to your must-read list.

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