Hollywood Shakedown
Buddy Chinn, the son of a lauded beat poet from the seventies, is happy to follow the dishonourable family tradition of booze, bets, books and broads. Then, at Hollywood Park one winter Saturday afternoon, two tough guys persuade him to join them on a trip to Damascus, a sprawling mansion off Mulholland Drive, a palace surrounded by a forest of imported trees and lush vegetation. There, he meets Mortimer Saxon, a, reclusive obsessive manuscript collector with an edge. A sharp suited zealot searching for Buddy’s father’s fabled Lost Manuscript; a one off, a unique piece worth thousands and thousands of dollars, an American literary icon of the same cult magnitude as Hunter Thompson’s “Call to the Post.” He asks Buddy whether he can help. Buddy hasn’t a clue. Not a scooby. Trouble is, Mortimer doesn’t believe him. Over the finest steak dinner Buddy has ever eaten, the collector makes him a proposition. Find the manuscript and make one hundred thousand dollars. Fail to find the manuscript and lose body parts on instruments restored from Inquisition times. Worse, he’s given two weeks and no choice. Along with a British comic dealer acquaintance in The Hangman, the two men go on a quest for the manuscript which takes them to the biggest library in the world in Venice Beach, a riotous chess tournament in Chicago, a pulsating FA Cup match in London and back again to the City of Angels. All the time he’s worried about his independent minded squeeze Monique, who, like a very independent minded cat, only ever comes home when she wants feeding. Hoping against hope that the manuscript exists. Avoiding snipers, hitmen, hooligans, the attentions of strange seventies goons and an alluring, hyper-sexy bad girl gangster with an interest in low-life big guy writers. Finding themselves developing respect and admiration in an age of endangered male friendships, the odd couple face a race against time to find the manuscript, a contest which leads to a pulse pounding climax, one in which Buddy has to face his deepest, darkest fears.
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Mark Barry
Mark Barry, author of “Hollywood Shakedown”, “Ultra Violence” and “Carla”, is a Psychologist and writer whose main interest focuses on relationships between people. He has been writing since he was twenty one, having his first piece published in 1986. He has written extensively on a variety of topics including, horse racing, football, personality disorders and human relationships. Influenced by the great playwrights and screenwriters, much of Mark’s work transpires in dialogue. He deplores exposition and, in his fiction, leaves the reader in a state of nervousness more than he probably should.
Mark has had an extensive career as a professional project designer and bid writer, having accrued over £20m for groups and organisations working with disadvantaged people. An ex-lecturer, Mark designed and delivered the UK’s first ever course in Criminal Psychology in 1997. Much of this work infils his fiction: Psychopathy and Borderline Personality Disorders are featured heavily in “Carla”, for example.
Currently, Mark is a full time fiction writer and freelance blogger. He has been interviewed on several Radio talk shows where he has given readings of his work. His work has been featured in The Sun and Daily Mail and he has also been interviewed on Television.
Mark resides in Southwell, Nottinghamshire with his teenage son.
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