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Indigo is a brand new Valentino novel from Harlan Coben's hero, Loren D. Estleman!

Film detective Valentino is summoned to the estate of Ignacio Bozel to collect a prized donation to the university's movie library: Bleak Street , a film from the classic noir period, thought lost for more than sixty years.

Bleak Street was never released. Its star, Van Oliver, a gifted and charismatic actor with alleged ties to the mob, disappeared while the project was in post-production, presumably murdered by gangland rivals: another one of Hollywood's unsolved mysteries. Studio bosses elected to shelve the film rather than risk box-office failure. UCLA's PR Department is excited about the acquisition, but only if Valentino can find a way to sell it in the mainstream media by way of a sensational discovery to coincide with its release: "We want to know what happened to Oliver."

A simple quest for a few hundred yards of celluloid opens a portal into a place darker than night.

Author Notes

Loren D. Estleman was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan on September 15, 1952. He received a B.A. in English literature and journalism from Eastern Michigan University in 1974. He spent several years as a reporter on the police beat before leaving to write full time in 1980. He wrote book reviews for such newspapers as The New York Times and The Washington Post and contributed articles to such periodicals as TV Guide.

He is a writer of mysteries and westerns. His first novel was published in 1976 and since then he has published more than 70 books including the Amos Walker series, Writing the Popular Novel, Roy and Lillie: A Love Story, The Confessions of Al Capone, and a The Branch and the Scaffold. He received four Shamus Awards from the Private Eye Writers of America, five Golden Spur Awards from the Western Writers of America, the Owen Wister Award for lifetime achievement from Western Writers of America, and the Michigan Author's Award in 1997.

(Bowker Author Biography) He lives in Whitmore Lake, Michigan.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Edgar finalist Estleman effortlessly melds film history with a whodunit in his gripping sixth mystery featuring UCLA movie archivist Valentino (after 2016's Brazen). Valentino is devoted to locating and acquiring "rare motion pictures so they can be preserved for future generations to see and appreciate." He gets a unique opportunity from Ignacio Bozal, a wealthy man with a shadowy past, who gives him the only known copy of Bleak Street, a never-released movie, in which an obscure actor named Van Oliver starred as a gangster based on Bugsy Siegel. Oliver disappeared and was believed to have been murdered, possibly by the mob, in 1959, before the picture could be released. The PR department at UCLA insists that Valentino try to shed light on Oliver's fate, to bolster the publicity for the planned screening of Bleak Street. Valentino sets out to see how much he can learn, decades later, about what actually happened from the few people left involved with the film, including a fellow actor who was the last person known to have seen Oliver alive. The solution to the cold case is both clever and surprising. Film noir buffs will be in heaven. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary. (May)

Kirkus Review

A sixth case for UCLA preservationist/film detective Valentino involves him more closely than any of its predecessors in the preservation and exhibition of an actual film. Not that the film in question, Bleak Street, a 1957 production at RKO, then in the twilight of its own existence, is a real-life film. But Estleman's loving enthusiasm for films noirs, efficiently channeled through his hero, will have you cheering for its resurrection when mysterious hotelier and philanthropist Ignacio Bozal swaps his copy of Greed for the only surviving print of Bleak Street and donates it to UCLA and rooting for Valentino's attempts to get the print screened, which UCLA PR rep Henry Anklemire conditions on his ability to generate buzz around a 63-year-old film. The obvious angle to work is the disappearance of Van Oliver, the film's star, shortly after the production wrapped. But as Valentino observes, "when it came to cold cases, Van Oliver's was forty below zero." And other complications quickly spring up along the way. Valentino's longtime adversary Teddie Goodman announces that her boss, Supernova founder Mark David Turkus, has acquired the copyright to Bleak Street, forbidding UCLA or anyone else from screening it. A closer look at the print Bozal turned over indicates that it isn't even Bleak Street but five reels of junk footage. And Valentino's attempt to interview Oliver's co-star, Ivy Lane, comes to grief when she dies the night before in a twist that morphs into a virtually self-contained short story. But Valentino, though shaken by his glimpses of someone who could be Oliver's double, persists to an ending that includes the premiere of Bleak Street at Valentino's newly opened Oracle theater and nearly 20 pages of appended lists of real-life books and movies aimed at film buffs who can't get enough. An irresistible popcorn chaser despite its slender mystery. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Film noir has provided the frame story for a wealth of crime fiction, and now Estleman adds another sterling entry to the growing list. In this sixth installment of his delightful Valentino series, the UCLA film archivist and "movie sleuth" receives a gift to die for: a print of the long-lost fifties noir Bleak Street. But there's a catch. The movie's star, Van Oliver, purported to have Mob connections, disappeared during postproduction, and the film was never released, the studio hoping to avoid a scandal. Val would love to screen the print in his soon-to-be-opened, rehabbed Hollywood movie palace, but his bosses won't go along unless he solves the mystery of what happened to Oliver, thus giving the PR flacks a good story. So begins a plot as convoluted as any classic noir, but this time it's set against the jaunty tone we've come to expect from this series, with Val and cronies, especially the eccentric Professor Broadbent, swapping one-liners as if they've wandered out of a noir script and into a screwball comedy. Classic-movie fans who don't know this series should be ashamed of themselves. (And don't miss the "Closing Credits," in which Estleman supplies both a superbly annotated bibliography of books about noir and an equally astute filmography of the genre's classics.)

Library Journal Review

Film detective/archivist Valentino has almost finished restoring the classic theater he lives above in Los Angeles. At a party in the lobby, his friend Ignacio, an older gentleman with a mysterious past and a love of classic films, invites him to his estate to view a lost film noir from the 1950s. Bleak Street was shelved by the studio when the lead actor, Van Oliver, disappeared as filming ended. The film is everything Valentino had ever heard it was, so when it disappears from the university where he's taken it for restoration, he is even more determined to find it. An entertainment mogul/rival collector is an additional complication he doesn't need, especially when deaths start occurring that link the disappearance of the film with that of its star. Valentino realizes he needs to solve both mysteries before his time runs out. VERDICT Fans of Estleman and this series (Brazen) will enjoy the wealth of film detail that fills out the story without weighing it down. Classic noir tropes are deployed in a modern-day Hollywood with levels of glitz and power that Spade and Marlowe never imagined. [See Prepub Alert, 10/21/19.]--Dan Forrest, Western Kentucky Univ. Libs., Bowling Green