To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyses reviews to verify trustworthiness.
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
There are 0 reviews and 0 ratings from Australiawith 5 star
From other countries
5.0 out of 5 starsEnjoyable hard-boiled mystery with a Hollywood twist
Reviewed in the United States on 27 February 2009
In many ways, "Loser's Town" is a classic hard-boiled detective novel: the protagonist is a private investigator with a tough guy attitude (and the characteristic snappy dialogue) and a willingness to engage in violence to accomplish his goals. And he smokes too much and has a lousy love life. But there are differences that keep the book from being clichéd. David Spandau is a loner but he works for an agency that caters to upscale clients, so he isn't the stereotypical solo PI in a ratty suit and rundown office. He wears Armani and drives a BMW for work. His background is also very different from most private investigators: he was a longtime Hollywood stuntman before taking a bad fall. That background comes in handy in this book where he needs to figure out who is threatening a young actor.
Another difference is the reason for his lousy love life: he's still in love with his ex-wife, who left him in part because of his job. They remain friends and the place where Spandau feels most at home is the ranch owned by his ex's mother (who wants them to get back together). Spandau's personality, code of conduct and life perspective aren't always warm and fuzzy but ultimately I found him a likeable "hero" and wanted to see him do well.
The book revolves around the movie business (actors, agents, production, etc.) but also around the gangster who is blackmailing the young actor to be in a movie he wants to produce. The gangster has 2 guys who do his dirty work and one of them (Potts) is a large focus of the book. In addition, there is a friend Spandau asks for some very specific and limited help but instead he goes off on his own tangent that leads to more violence and death. These parallel anti-heroes add a lot to the book; in particular Potts is what Spandau could have become with some bad decisions.
One caution: if you are offended by vulgar language (particularly the F-bomb), you may not like this book. Several of the characters swear profusely. The first few chapters are expletive filled to the max. After hearing the clip of the actor Christian Bale cursing out one of the movie production people, the foul language seems fairly realistic for the book. I lived in NYC for several years and got used to more cursing than I hear in Minnesota. A male co-worker is reading the book now on my recommendation and his first comment to me was that he's not a prude but was surprised by the language used. Just know in advance there is a serious amount of bad language.
I really enjoyed the book and found it a fast and enjoyable read. I would definitely read the next book in the David Spandau series. Spandau is a macho sort of character so this would be a good book for guys.
5.0 out of 5 starsWonderful debut novel, definitely going to be a new favorite author!
Reviewed in the United States on 25 January 2009
I just LOVE this book! By page 6 I had laughed (yes, trite as the saying is nowadays, it was out loud) 4 times. I kept laughing throughout the book - until the last few chapters when things got real serious in a real hurry.
This story is a real page turner - it is obvious that Daniel Depp has written screen plays and that he has, in fact, written this novel with an eye toward making it into a movie. The dialogue between his characters is just wonderful, and each character is made very "real," even if we only spent a short amount of time with them. Potts and Squiers - Richie Stella's stooges - are the original odd couple and their interplay is just delightful. David Spandau refuses to be impressed by anybody and has the perfect comebacks for everybody. Born in the wrong century, Spandau yearns for the life of a cowboy - since he can't have that and since too many accidents on the set (and the death of his mentor and father-in-law) caused him to quit doing stunts in the movies, he spends his time working as a PI in a "boutique" private investigation firm.
The only thing that sort of bothered me were the many coy references to past events that, obviously, we don't know about. "Spandau is an old friend," they seemed to say. "Feel comfortable with him - remember all these hair-raising adventures?" But, of course, we don't, because we didn't know him until now. I do hope there will be either prequels or else flash-backs in future books to clarify some of this.
Overall, I've been spreading the word to everyone I talk to, telling them to watch for this book when it comes out. This is a must-read for anyone who likes Elmore Leonard, early Harry Bosch and Stone Barrington, Carl Hiaasen and the like. Give it a read, you will NOT be disappointed!
5.0 out of 5 starsMurder and other bad behavior on the Sunset Strip
Reviewed in the United States on 26 January 2009
"Loser's Town" is a first novel that will knock your sox off. Author Daniel Depp takes a familiar look at the moral wasteland that is often Hollywood and the film industry, but gives his story clever and unpredictable veerings, considerable wit, great characters and ultimately delivers a slam bang ending that is worthy of the rest of this intelligent novel.
More predictably, Depp's protagonist, PI David Spandau, is a flawed but principled hero working in one of the sleaze capitals of the world. He is aware of his surroundings and not unaffected by them, but still trying to do the right thing by his clients and friends. In "Loser's Town," this isn't easy on a good day as the good tend to die young or are otherwise trampled by the bad and the old (to extend the metaphor).
Mystery fans will not be disappointed by this book's above average plot and the pacing of the story's action. Like most stories about the film industry, virtue is not rewarded in the end, but denouement here is at least in the ballpark of justice. Great and enjoyable read. Highly recommended.
Newcomer Daniel Depp hits it out of the park with his debut novel "Loser's Town".
The story introduces David Spandau, the PI Hollywood A-Listers turn to when they have problems that need solving. Heartthrob Bobby Dye finds himself hip-deep in trouble because of his association with a shady nightclub operator who is, himself, trying to make it big in the movie industry and hoping to use Dye to pave the way. Spandau finds himself fighting with Dye's own self-destructive propensities, as well as Dye's agent and producers as each tries to forward his or her own agenda. Meanwhile, various other Hollywood hangers-on and wannabees compound the difficulties for Spandau as he also tries to come to grips with his own divorce from the daughter of the man who was his mentor during the period when Spandau himself was a movie stuntman.
Small-time crooks, beautiful people, cokeheads, gangsters, supermodels, hustlers and grifters... a small cross-section of the people drawn to Hollywood by the glitz and glamour promised by the chimera of success in the film biz.
Depp paints an intriguing and vastly entertaining canvas of Los Angeles, and in particular, that part of it that revolves around its self-image as being the Entertainment Capital of the World. Which, if they're honest, any of my fellow Angelenos will tell you is how LA sees itself.
This story is reminiscent of Leonard's "Get Shorty" with overtones of Crais's Elvis Cole series, full of unique and fully-realized characters, each engaging in their own right.
As a former actor myself, I can tell you he got the Hollywood milieu to perfection: the self-indulgence; childish egocentrism; vanity; and unbounded ambition of so many "entertainers".
This is a hugely entertaining book. Get it! Myself... I'm hoping for at least a sequel.
I was a little concerned when I first started reading this book. Usually if a book doesn't grab my attention within the first 20 pages, I know I'm probably not going to really get into the story. That's what I thought was going to happen with LOSER'S TOWN, but I ended up being quite surprised.
Author Daniel Depp has created what I believe is going to be a terrific series of mysteries. His main character, David Spandau may not be the most original character, but he is certainly, interesting and likable. There is definitely the opportunity for him to become quite a popular character in much the same way Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone is.
Depp does a fantastic job of describing the seamier side of Hollywood, movie making and stardom. His descriptions leave the reader wanting more. I was cringing one moment and laughing out loud the next.
I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I hope this one is around for a long time.