EZRA works as a live-in groundskeeper on a celebrity couple’s enormous rental property in Los Angeles. When the magnetic Sybil sets her sights on Ezra and gradually lures him in, he is as conflicted as he is tempted. Then Grant, her husband, approaches Ezra with a different proposal—to monitor Sybil to see if she is having an affair—and he is faced with the formidable challenge in refusing one or the other.
And so begins this sexy, mesmerizing novel about Sybil, an actress desperately hoping for the important role that will resurrect her faltering career; Grant, a cunning, self-made movie producer infamous for subterfuge and secrets; and Ezra, the beautiful, troubled young man they employ—a man haunted by the memory and teachings of his mother, the leader of a new-age cult that deifies birds.
Over one life-altering week, Sybil casts Ezra as the center of her universe. Together, they fantasize about the new life for both of them, where Sybil directs and stars in a controversial film about the Middle East, and Ezra can finally realize his dream of traveling to photograph exotic birds, a craft he has cultivated in the hummingbird-filled gardens of the property. But when Sybil’s husband Grant discovers their passionate affair, the three are set on a collision course that can only end in violence.
In The Hummingbirds, Ross McMeekin captures people yearning for deep connections in a shallow world defined by the twin obsessions of power and beauty. It is a story of love and redemption, of murder and betrayal, and of the darkness that lurks in the heart of Hollywood.
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“With sly wit and piercing intelligence, Ross McMeekin’s novel traverses the classic terrain of California noir and manages, almost miraculously, to render it anew. Echoes of Cain, echoes of West, and yet even as the lush, light-struck world of swimming pools and starlets is rendered in all its nearly-sinister invitation, the book sneaks up on us with a startling and profound empathy. The Hummingbirds is truly beautiful.”Matthew Specktor, author of American Dream Machine
“The Hummingbirds is a transfixing and hugely propulsive novel, a dark and rich tale twisted through with secrecy and danger, ambition, loneliness and love. The book also beautifully captures the insanity of Los Angeles, the film industry, and the people who occupy—however fleetingly—that precarious and mesmerizing world.”Peter Mountford, author of A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism and The Dismal Science