Hollywood Down Low

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In 1994, Hollywood’s infamous movers and shakers mingle at Club Ten, a glitzy Sunset Boulevard strip joint. Recent college-grad Allison Patrick hates serving booze to the club’s pervy patrons while wearing a thong and bustier. Ugh. But Club Ten is the key to the cash Allison needs to take a low-paid internship in politics. When rising star Heston Stahl skips out on his huge tab, Allison must catch him or use her precious savings to cover the tab herself. Tracking down Heston, Allison stumbles on his corpse. She falls face first onto the tabloids’ front pages.

But Allison discovers she has problems more perilous than having her embarrassing resume put on blast. Like staying alive. Everyone tied to Heston’s murder has an angle and a secret. An abusive movie producer. A charismatic, cagy agent. A sexy B-movie actor with unsavory connections. A dirty cop turned entrepreneur. A former stripper with a heart of Am Ex gold cards. And Allison knows more than she thinks does. Enough to put her in the killer’s crosshairs.

Only Allison isn’t the pawn the killer thinks she is.

Allison is a player.



Monday afternoon should be quiet at Hollywood’s glitziest topless club, but news vans and police cruisers surround its Sunset Boulevard entrance. Reporters and cops buzz beneath the purple neon CLUB TEN sign dimmed by daylight. Heads swivel to follow my dented, dusty Honda as I steer into the private lot tucked behind the building. Dammit. Too late to turn around without attracting unwelcome attention.

Club Ten gets picketers, but I didn’t see any STRIPPING IS A SIN placards. A celebrity customer might have been caught stepping out on his famous girlfriend. The club earned headlines when a stripper got named as a contributing factor in the Kiefer Sutherland-Julia Roberts broken engagement. But cheating scandals don’t bring the LAPD to our doors.

That police presence is ominous.

The news crews worry me even more.

I can’t end up on camera. My secret job needs to stay a secret. I didn’t disclose it on the fresh wave of resumes I sent out this week, that’s for sure. Each curriculum vitae, printed on ivory-hued and linen-infused paper, identifies Allison Patrick as the proactive and detail-oriented personal assistant of a prominent Hollywood talent agent. Not as a strip club waitress.