Raymond’s new suspense novel, “BLUES IN THE DARK,” a Hollywood crime drama set in the 1940s and present day that tackles racism, sexism, and murder, will be published on October 8, 2019, by Skyhorse/Arcade CrimeWise.
Karissa Glover is a movie producer who moves into a decrepit but functional old mansion in the West Adams Heights area of Los Angeles, where black celebrities of yesteryear–Hattie McDaniel, Louise Beavers, and others–once resided. The former owner was a white actress, Blair Kendrick, who often starred as the “bad girl”–a femme fatale–in films noir of the 1940s. However, Blair’s career was cut short when she was tragically killed by the mob after allegedly witnessing the slaying of a corrupt studio head in 1949. As Karissa and her producing partner decide to develop a modern film noir about Blair Kendrick, malevolent forces from the past attempt to stop them–first with intimidation, and then with the threat of murder. Is this because Karissa has learned that Blair was involved in a then-taboo interracial relationship with jazz musician Hank Marley? What really happened on the night that death struck in a dimly lit studio mogul’s office? The consequences of Blair and Hank’s doomed love affair still resonate in the present day as Karissa attempts to unravel Blair’s secrets. Seeping with mystery, intrigue, Hollywood history, and forbidden romance, Blues in the Dark is Raymond Benson at his most insightful and page-turning best.
“This lovingly and sharply evoked homage to the glory days of film noir works on every level: as a gripping thriller, as an insightful look at racism in Hollywood, and as a perfect entree into the ever-fascinating world of moviemaking.” (Booklist STARRED Review)
See the Books/Fiction Page to pre-order the hardcover or e-book!
Bonus! Raymond’s 2017 novel, “THE SECRETS ON CHICORY LANE,” will be available in trade paperback with a new cover on September 1, 2019!