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Fallen Star by Allison Morse

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  • Who killed 1940s screen goddess Gloria Reardon? Her unsolved murder hypnotized the public with its scandalous details and shocked two generations.
     
    Avid feminist and aspiring filmmaker, Kate Bloom discovers long lost footage that holds the key to who murdered her grandmother.  Legendary movie star, Gloria Reardon, may be dead, but friends and lovers from the Golden Age of Hollywood’s heyday are still very much on the scene, and it seems everyone has something to gain or lose from Kate’s discovery. Enlisting the youthful and brash film restorer Dylan Nichols as her closest ally, Kate becomes haunted by Gloria’s glittering past. Caught between glamorous Old Hollywood and the gritty, exciting New Hollywood of the 1970s, Kate is determined to find out what really happened to her grandmother and in the process becomes the killer’s new target.​

    Rating: non-romance
    Page Count: 396
    Word Count: 95505
    978-1-5092-0872-2 Paperback
    978-1-5092-0873-9 Digital

    Excerpt

    Each time the scene ended, Dylan rewound the film and ran it again.

    After the first couple of times it ran, Kate could see how much she had missed the first time, when she was too busy reacting to the anger in Winston’s voice.

    She wanted to see every detail. Winston’s use of deep focus allowed her to do so. The camera has the ability to photograph a scene in a way the human eye can’t see. Human vision is selective. When our eyes focus on something in the foreground, the background becomes blurry, and vice versa.

    She struggled to absorb all the visual input. The flickering light from the screen pounded against her skull and gave her a throbbing headache. She couldn’t shake the feeling something wasn’t quite right in the footage.

    She concentrated on the minutiae, cataloging every detail, particularly what occurred when the camera continued to run after a take was done.

    There was part of a child’s polka dot skirt slipped into the frame after a take.

    That must have been her mother.

    Burly techs walked at the outer edge of the frame, over thick cables winding across the floor like snakes.

    Details, details. All were there, in perfect focus, with deep focus.

    “Oh, my God.” Kate clamped her hands over her mouth.

    It’s not what’s there, she realized. It’s what’s not there.

    She fumbled for the intercom button. “Dylan, stop the film!”

    Not waiting for a reply, Kate ran to the projection booth. Despite a fan buzzing in one corner, the booth was a good ten degrees hotter than the rest of the house. Dylan barely reacted to her presence as he remained slumped in a chair, his dark eyes bloodshot.

    “Rewind the footage slowly,” Kate told him.

    “Why?” He shrugged, then did what she wanted, with the projector still on so she could see each frame clearly.

    “Stop the film there.” She hopped up and down, unable to contain her excitement. “So, I’m still inclined to think Winston killed Gloria.”

    “You’ve made that clear.”

    “But I saw something. Or, I didn’t see it, and that could mean something.”

    Dylan took off his glasses and rubbed the bridge of his nose. “You’re not making sense. Slow down.”

    “Have you ever seen Blow Up?”

    “Sure. That’s a great film. A photographer catches a murder on film.” Dylan chuckled as he placed his glasses back on his aquiline nose. “What? Did Vanessa Redgrave kill your grandmother?”

    “Not funny.”

    “Okay, so what did you see in the footage? Excuse me, not see?”

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