The Movie Star and Me by Kelly Durham
Kelly Durham is known for his creative way of stepping into the trenches of historical fiction with his easy prose and often engaging novels, typically set during the WWII era and his latest doesn’t veer from that expectation. The Movie Star and Me, by Kelly Durham is a novel that whisks the reader into the decadence and glamour of Old Hollywood with a book that is easy to read and perfect for an Old Hollywood buff like myself.
Complete with glamorous stars, true Americana heroes, and the trickery of what the studios and Hollywood was (and still is), this story of deception and hidden Hollywood secrets will have readers lulling in the golden age of an industry that influenced an era and a country.
Frank Russell is a soldier that doesn’t see too much action in the Pacific except for trying to save the life of a reporter. In the midst of his act of heroism, he is hurt and eventually able to return home due to his injuries and the end of the war. While on his travel back to his home to California, he notices a reel of film that belonged to the reporter he tried to save in his own duffle bag. Not knowing how it got there, he takes it back to the Hollywood studio to which it belongs which sets the course for the book. While at the studio, Frank impresses the right people that eventually land him a job and a pretty exciting and glitzy life.
In this book, Frank Russell moves up the corporate latter pretty quickly because of his ingenuity, likability, savvy—that he undoubtedly acquired during his army training, and eagerness that was a sign of the time during that era. Although it may seem a bit unrealistic, it helps the book keep a great pace despite the issues going on with labor unions and strikes. During this time Frank falls for the studio’s starlet and propels her career as much as he propels his own. We never really know her true intentions with Frank and the drove me crazy. While the romance isn’t the type that sweeps you away, it is a bit more realistic and drives the story. Slowly but surely secrets are revealed and when a murder happens, Frank questions everything that he once believed in so strongly.
This is the first book in Kelly Durham’s new Old Hollywood series, Frank Russell Pacific Pictures Series, and it is a great start to a character, an era, and an industry that we are excited to get to know more about. There is no doubt that Kelly Durham did great research in constructing this story setting and this book not only entertains but gives a great deal on insight into a time that so many are still fascinated with. We look forward to the next installment about Frank Russell and Pacific Pictures by Kelly Durham.
Kelly Durham lives in Clemson, SC with his wife Yvonne. They are the parents of Mary Kate, Addison and Callie and also provide for their dog, George Marshall. A graduate of Clemson University, Kelly served four years in the US Army with assignments in Arizona and Germany before returning to Clemson and entering private business. Kelly is the also the author of THE WAR WIDOW, BERLIN CALLING, WADE’S WAR and THE RELUCTANT COPILOT. Check out all Kelly’s books at kellydurham.com.
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