Clea's Moon: A John Ray Horn Novel
|Publisher:||Putnam Publishing Group|
John Ray Horn used to be Sierra Lane, hero to countless youngsters who faithfully watched his B westerns. Now, after two years in prison, he lives on the margins of postwar Los Angeles. His wife has left him. Blacklisted by the studios, he makes ends meet by collecting debts for a gambler, who just happens to be his old Indian sidekick from the movies. Then things happen to shake Horn out of his cynicism and self-pity.
Scotty Bullard, an old friend, contacts Horn soon after the death of his own father, a powerful real estate developer. Among the elder Bullard’s possessions Scotty has found a collection of obscene photographs of underage girls, one of whom he thinks is Clea, Horn’s stepdaughter before his divorce.
Within two days, Scotty is dead, having fallen—or been pushed—from his apartment window. And soon after, Horn’s ex-wife tells him that Clea, who is now sixteen, has run away. There are no obvious links between these events. Yet Horn feels instinctively that Scotty was murdered by someone who wants to keep the photos secret, and that Clea’s disappearance was somehow triggered by the emergence of the photographs. He is driven to identify the killer of his old friend, but his most urgent need is to find Clea, the one bright memory from his failed marriage.
Horn’s search takes him from neon-lit ocean-front piers to wooded canyons, from estates in the Hollywood Hills to the clubs on Central Avenue, the Harlem of L.A., a district rich in both jazz and corruption. He knows that he must become a hero in real life, not just a hero on flickering celluloid…but can he come to believe in himself in time to save Clea?