WWII is over and Joe Bernardi has just returned home after three years as a war correspondent in Europe. Married in the heat of passion three weeks before he shipped out, he has come home to find his wife Lydia is a complete stranger. It's not long before Lydia's off to Reno for a quickie divorce which Joe won't accept.
Meanwhile, he's been hired as a publicist by third-rate movie studio, Continental Pictures. One night, he enters a darkened sound stage only to discover the dead body of ambitious would-be actress Maggie Baumann. When the police investigate, they immediately zero in on Joe as the perp. Short on evidence, they attempt to frame him and almost succeed. Desperate to clear himself and uncover the identity of the actual killer, Joe enlists the help of Russ Parmelee, the studio's chief of security.
There's no shortage of suspects: May Britton, over the hill actress trying to make a comeback. Brick Baxter, whose brief career as a leading man is being threatened by the return of real stars like Gable and Power and Stewart. Kingman Krug, a hack director who would rather be helming his next epic film instead of this movie trash. Dave Clancy, who claims to be a reporter from Chicago but is someone else altogether. Leo Blaustein, studio hatchetman who may have been keeping Maggie in a plush apartment. Al Kaplan, an ex-husband still carrying a red-hot torch. Sal Maggio, a man of many interests, most of them illegal, who has a highly personal reason for wanting this film to succeed.
The story moves headlong toward an exciting and unexpected ending, weaving it's way through a web of blackmail, betrayal, and extortion.
©2016 Peter S. Fischer (P)2017 Peter S. Fischer