The Day of the Locustmeets The Devil in the White City andMidnight in the Garden of Good and Evil inthis juicy, untold Hollywood story: an addictive true account of ambition,scandal, intrigue, murder, and the creation of the modern film industry.
By 1920, the movies had suddenly become America’s newfavorite pastime and one of the nation’s largest industries. Never before hada medium possessed such power to influence; yet Hollywood’s glitteringascendancy was threatened by a string of headline-grabbing tragedies—includingthe murder of William Desmond Taylor, the popular president of the MotionPicture Directors Association, a legendary crime that has remained unsolveduntil now.
In a fiendishly involving narrative, bestselling Hollywoodchronicler William J. Mann draws on a rich host of sources, including recentlyreleased FBI files, to uncover the story of the enigmatic Taylor and the diverse group of people who surrounded him—including three beautiful, ambitious actresses; agrasping stage mother; a devoted valet; and a gang of two-bit thugs, any ofwhom might have fired the fatal bullet. And overseeing this entire landscape ofintrigue was Adolph Zukor, the brilliant and ruthless founder of Paramount Pictures,locked in a struggle for control of the industry and desperate to conceal thetruth about the crime. Along the way, Mann brings to life Los Angeles in theRoaring Twenties: a sparkling yet schizophrenic town filled with party girls,drug dealers, religious zealots, newly minted legends, and starlets alreadypast their prime—a dangerous place where the powerful could still run afoul ofthe desperate.
A true story recreated with the suspense of a novel, Tinseltown is the work of a storytellerat the peak of his powers—and the solution to a crime that has stumpeddetectives and historians for nearly a century.