Last Stop Slumberland - A Homage to Hitchcock
My new novel, Last Stop Slumberland, is a mystery thriller that pays homage to the films of Alfred Hitchock. In it, I've used every Hitchcock trademark I could think of. There's a Maguffn, the "Time Bomb" rule of suspense, the innocent man on the run. Some are obvious, some not so much; unless you're a Hitchcock nerd like I am, some of the references may pass you by. The Hitchcock gimmick wasn't my intention in writing the novel, the story is original, and the main character goes through some things that pertained to my own life. So, non-Hitch fans or those who don't know who he is can still enjoy the ride.
Set in Hollywood, CA, 1954. A production assistant named Matthew Brooks is employed at Olympic Pictures Studios and working on a film entitled "The Dark Window." Young Brooks, an alcoholic with a tragic past, is just a regular guy trying to stay out of trouble. But trouble finds him when his last surviving relative dies, leaving nothing behind but a locked handbag and the address to a crime scene. Matthew is sent on a hair-raising odyssey through the streets of Los Angeles, the studio's backlot, and an elite cemetery called Slumberland.
Setting the novel in 1950s Los Angeles gave me a chance to throw in things that people don't see much anymore. Our leading man and other characters use phonebooths, electric streetcars, buses, and taxis. Hot rods, milk and bakery trucks for home deliveries, and those big, bulbous black and white squad cars. News comes from newspapers (morning and evening editions) and a local television station. Even though the book's cover is black and white, the story's all technicolor.