Los Angeles, late 1940s: all over Hollywood, the U.S. government is ordering people to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee as part of the crusade to uncover Communist influence in the movies. John Ray Horn has little use for politics, but as a former B-movie cowboy star who fell into prison and disgrace, he knows a few things about outsiders. He agrees to help Owen Bruder, a brilliantly talented but notoriously difficult screenwriter accused of having belonged to the Communist Party. If Horn can discover Bruder's secret accuser, they might have a chance to clear his name. But no one is willing to talk. People are scared, in a Hollywood run by fear and suspicion, where a whisper is all it takes to smear an innocent man. As Horn's search leads him to powerful figures in Hollywood, his investigation takes a sudden and deadly turn. And he finds that more people will die before all the secrets are laid bare.
Edward Wright grew up in Arkansas and has degrees from Vanderbilt University and Northwestern University. He was an officer in the U.S. Navy aboard destroyers for three years, training in anti-submarine warfare techniques. His major career has been journalism, and he has worked as an editor at the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times. He and his wife, Cathy, live in the Los Angeles area.