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Cover image for Angel's gate : a Shortcut Man novel
Format:
Title:
Angel's gate : a Shortcut Man novel
ISBN:
9781476712970

9781476714660
Edition:
First Scribner hardcover edition.
Publication:
New York : Scribner, 2013.
Physical Description:
xii, 355 pages ; 24 cm
Number in series:
03
Summary:
"The latest novel in the acclaimed Shortcut Man series is a rousing tale of sex, sleaze, and salvation in the City of Angels that's "filled with enough dark humor and shady characters to satisfy the most rabid noir fan" (Associated Press). Our hero Dick Henry--aka the Shortcut Man--becomes involved in a case featuring an aging but still amorous Los Angeles movie mogul named Howard Hogue who keeps a stable of young starlets available for his highly ritualized attentions. Retained by the sister of a young woman who has gone missing, Henry becomes friendly with Connie Cielo, the "housemother" to the starlets. Despite Connie's morally questionable responsibilities, she is willing to help (and enjoy the company of) the Shortcut Man. After Hogue's star director assaults one of these women in a drug-fueled romp, Henry is drawn into a deeper mystery from years past involving a mysterious death on a boat and a missing screenplay written by what appears to be a homeless man. As he peels back layer upon layer of sordid Hollywood history, Dick Henry must contend with crazed drug dealers, Hogue's personal doctor, crooked cops, private security henchmen, and Hogue himself--who is so powerful and bunkered in his movie-biz millions that he is unfazed by the resourceful Henry. A wry and rollicking read, Angel's Gate proves that p.g. sturges is "one of the cleverest and funniest new writers to grace the mystery genre in quite some time" (BookPage.com)"-- Provided by publisher.
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Sturges, P.
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Summary

Summary

The latest novel in the acclaimed Shortcut Man series is a rousing tale of sex, sleaze, and salvation in the City of Angels that's "filled with enough dark humor and shady characters to satisfy the most rabid noir fan" (Associated Press).

The latest rousing tale of sex, sleaze, and salvation in the City of Angels, featuring Dick Henry, the Shortcut Man, by p. g. sturges, whom Michael Connelly calls "a worthy successor to Chandler"

In Angel's Gate, Dick Henry is drawn into a case involving an aging but still amorous Los Angeles movie mogul named Howard Hogue, who keeps a stable of twenty-plus young starlets available for his highly ritu­alized and private attentions. . . .

Henry is retained by the sister of a young woman who has gone missing and soon he is becoming friendly with Devi Stanton, the "housemother" to the starlets. Despite Devi's morally questionable responsibilities, she is willing to help (and enjoy the company of ) the Short­cut Man, a relationship that will be crucial to his survival.

After Hogue's star director batters one of the star­lets in a drug-fueled romp, Henry is drawn into a deeper mystery from years past involving a haunting death on a boat and a missing screenplay written by what appears to be a local homeless man.

As he peels back layer upon layer of sordid Holly­wood history, Dick Henry must contend with crazed drug dealers, Hogue's personal doctor, crooked cops, private security henchmen, and Hogue himself, who is so powerful and bunkered in his movie-biz mil­lions that he is not intimidated by the ever-resourceful Henry. Amid a final showdown and genius plot twists, the Shortcut Man must outwit his opponents if he is to have any chance to survive.


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

At the outset of Sturges's uneven third crime novel featuring L.A. fixer and ex-cop Dick Henry (after 2012's The Tribulations of the Shortcut Man), Henry gets a disbarred attorney, who owes a client $3,300, to pay up by threatening to expose that he's practicing law without a license. But first Henry urinates on a ficus plant in the man's office. Henry later employs a contact with horrific body odor to prevent another client from being scammed. Such humorous moments bring some relief from the many unpleasant people and their sordid crimes that preoccupy Henry in the course of the book-beginning with a psychotic and megasuccessful Hollywood director, who beats up, tortures, and then uses a gun to sodomize an unsuccessful actress. Fans of the screwball comedies made by the author's celebrated film director father, Preston Sturges, will note that the son has taken a different path. Agent: Ryan Fischer-Harbage, the Fischer-Harbage Agency. (Feb. 26) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

The Shortcut Man is back once more, and he quickly becomes mired in more than one case of sex, drugs, blackmail and--what else?--murder. Ex-cop Dick Henry enjoys helping innocent victims recoup their losses in inventive ways. Whether he's showering indoor plants with body fluids or sending in a man whose noxious fumes cause people to hurl their breakfast burritos, shady characters promptly get the message and do his bidding. In this latest noir thriller, Henry's hired to find a woman who disappeared six years earlier. His investigation takes him to Ivanhoe Productions, a legit movie company with a sleazy special talent program designed for owner Howard Hogue's pleasure. (He has a thing for tall, busty blondes.) When one of the girls is brutally assaulted by Hogue's star director, Eli Nazarian, Henry steps in to help "housemother" Devi Stanton when she calls him for assistance. Before you can say apple cheese danish, Nazarian and Hogue's lackey, Melvin Shea, are found tied together, sans pants, in a refrigerator box behind Dunkin' Donuts, and neither has any clue how they--or the dead dog between them--got there. With big bucks and reputations at stake, Shea, Nazarian and a crooked doctor try to cover some very dirty tracks, as Henry uncovers the details of a murder that took place at Hogue's mansion years earlier, an act that could bring down a famous actor and the movie mogul himself. Sturges (The Tribulations of the Shortcut Man, 2012, etc.) piles on the chuckles, throws in a host of extreme characters and provides readers with nonstop action. And he does so with enough finesse to compensate for the novel's weaknesses. ]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Hollywood was never so deliriously debauched as it is in Sturges' latest Shortcut Man novel. From an opening scene that echoes the Tinsel Town melodrama, The Bad and the Beautiful, to a curiously sentimental epilogue, Sturges lays on the action, the emotion, the violence, the twisted sex, and the black comedy with an oversize trowel, but somehow, it all works splendidly. Dick Henry is the Shortcut Man, a fixer who always finds the most unencumbered route from problem to solution. This time, though, he's awash in encumbrances. It all starts when a movie mogul, who keeps a harem of starlets, gives his kinky director a solid gold gun, and the director uses said gun to abuse one of the mogul's starlets in a particularly unsavory fashion. Meanwhile, the Shortcut Man and the housemother to the harem attempt to sort it all out. The violence-fueled comic crime novel is harder to get right than it looks to parody over-the-top melodrama is to risk losing hold of your narrative as it sails over its own top but Sturges never loses control. Think the Marx Brothers with blood, sex, and, shockingly, a hint or two of genuine human feeling.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2010 Booklist