Book Review: Windhall by Barry

Windhall : A NovelWindhall : A Novel by Ava Barry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Everyone loves a beautiful dead girl.”

Windhall is a novel about Hollywood, how men treat women, fame, obsession, and Los Angeles. Hailey is an antisocial journalist at a counterculture zine turned blog (I think) in LA. He is obsessed with the decades-old murder of a Hollywood star at the home of an infamous director. His obsession weaves in with his own family’s story, as well as the DNA of modern-day Los Angeles. It’s hard for him to separate the glamour and allure of the city with the facts, and isn’t that the point of Hollywood?

While Hailey is obsessed with the historical murder, the mansion where it occurred is not much more than a tour-bus destination these days. However, all of that changes when someone murders two women at the foot of the mansion. The murders grab the city’s attention, and some players aren’t as keen as others to be back in front of the public’s eye. Hailey finds himself simultaneously drawn closer to the truth and repelled from the few friends he has.

If you like the following in at least some combination, I think you will probably like this book: Sunset Boulevard AND The Lady from the Black Lagoon AND neo-noir AND true crime podcasts. If those things are your jam – this would be a fun read for you.

By the way, I was curious about the author’s association with Los Angeles and the movie industry. It looks like Ms. Barry used to read scripts and work for Francis Ford Coppola’s magazine Zoetrope. I hope she continues writing about these themes because this was a fun read.

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