By: Jon Linstrom
Narrator: Jon Linstrom
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: 02/06/2024
Format: e-book & Audio
My Rating: 5 Stars (ALC) (ARC)
From 4-time Emmy-nominated actor Jon Lindstrom of General Hospital, Bosch, and True Detective fame, comes a gripping debut thriller.
Set in the dark underbelly of the LA film industry, Hollywood Hustle is the perfect read for fans of Alex Finlay and Jeffrey Deaver.
Winston Greene, a has-been film star, wakes one morning to find his six-year-old granddaughter at his bedside—traumatized, unattended, and gripping onto a thumb drive. She comes bearing video proof that her mother, Win’s troubled adult daughter, has been kidnapped by a murderous gang demanding all his “movie money” for her safe return. But what they don’t know is…his movie money is long gone.
Unable to go to the police for fear the kidnappers will make good on their promise to kill his daughter, Winston turns to two close friends—a legendary Hollywood stuntman and a disgraced former LAPD detective.
There’s no easy way out for Winston or his daughter—the gang is violent and willing to do anything to get the money they’re after, and Winston begins to realize that to get his daughter back, he’ll have to beat the kidnappers at their own game.
This propulsive and tense thriller will transport readers to the seedier side of LA, depicted in bold prose by a Hollywood insider.
Jon Lindstrom, a four-time Emmy-nominated actor of General Hospital, Bosch, and True Detective fame, delivers HOLLYWOOD HUSTLE —set in the dark underbelly of the LA film industry a riveting, action-packed debut thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat to the explosive ending.
Set in Wrightwood, California, 81 miles northeast of Hollywood, we meet Winston Greene, an alcoholic who has been a film star. He wakes up with his six-year-old granddaughter, Amy (Amelia) by his side.
Amy is traumatized and unattended, holding a thumb drive, which contains a video of Win's adult daughter Clare (Clarissa) —the girl's mom, who has been kidnapped by a gang demanding all his movie money for her safe return.
Win's wife died tragically in a car accident years ago after an argument that still haunts him. Winston (Win) cannot tell the kidnappers he has NO money. After his wife died, he let his insurance lapse, and cancer, hospitals, and treatments wiped out all his money and savings. He only has his house and credit cards.
Frantically, he is desperate and puts off the kidnappers as he is afraid to go to the cops since they said they would kill his daughter. His house has some issues, and he will not get much for it due to some problems he discovers and cannot sell it quickly.
He turns to his two best friends for help—a former disgraced LAPD detective, Theodore (Teddy), and a legendary Hollywood stuntman, Grover Washington.
He gets updates from the kidnapper, stating they will send her body in bags if they do not get the money. Frantically, he tries to figure out how to raise the money and get his daughter back safely.
In the meantime, we hear from Clare and the kidnappers—a plan gone wrong. Will she be able to escape before it is too late? We also get the backstories of the characters. All the characters are flawed and have made mistakes. Win is trying to redeem himself and save his daughter and granddaughter.
There’s no easy way out for Winston or his daughter—they are killers and will do anything to get money. They think he has the cash or can get it. He will have to outsmart the kidnappers to get his daughter back alive. (yes, he needs Tommy Lee Jones to help save the day).
HOLLYWOOD HUSTLE is action-packed with a twisty plot and well-developed, deeply flawed characters you care about mixed with humor. Like a Hollywood film, the actor turned novelist (a Hollywood insider) knows his way around LA and includes some fun behind-the-scenes footage of the film industry and mentions of stars. I enjoyed Win's character, and he reminds me of Bosch.
High stakes, high octane, and heart-pounding! Fans of Michael Connelly and Alex Finlay will enjoy this thrill ride. Bosch fans will want to give this a whirl!
AUDIOBOOK: I read the e-book and listened to the audiobook narrated by the author (a pro), which bumped the book from 4 to 5 stars with a spectacular narration for an engaging performance for all voices. I highly recommend the audio! I cannot wait to see what comes next.
Thanks to Crooked Lane Books and Dreamscape Media for a gifted ARC and ALC for an honest review.
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
Pub Date: Feb 6, 2024
My Rating: 5 Stars (audio)
“An engaging protagonist makes this thriller a fun ride.”
“Lindstrom has penned a love letter to the City of Angels, vividly rendering its varied neighborhoods in meticulous detail. A quick, entertaining diversion.”
“A high stakes, high octane thrill ride. Lindstrom, a Hollywood insider, is the real deal.”
—Robert Dugoni, New York Times bestselling author of The Tracy Crosswhite Series
“Humor, emotion, brilliant twists, and heart-thumping action . . . Lindstrom has exploded onto the scene with a resounding bang.”
—Samantha M. Bailey, USA Today and #1 national bestselling author of Woman on the Edge
“Impossible to put down.”
—Robert Greenfield, bestselling author of True West: Sam Shepard's Life, Work, and Times
“A pulse-pounding thriller that immerses you into the seamy underworld of Hollywood . . . I raced through it!”
—Liv Constantine, bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish
“A propulsive, unputdownable thriller that explores the dark side behind the glitter and glamour of LaLa Land . . . This is one of the best debut novels I’ve ever read.”
—Alex Finlay, author of The Night Shift
“Writing with an assured voice . . . Jon Lindstrom brings a wealth of authenticity, sharp wit, and ingenuity to his twisty immensely entertaining debut novel.”
—Steven James, bestselling author of Broker of Lies
“Hollywood Hustle has all the premium ingredients . . . all making the perfect recipe for a bestselling thriller.”
—Yasmin Angoe, Anthony nominated author of the critically acclaimed Nena Knight series
“Sharp prose, vivid descriptions, and a cast of colorful characters set in sun-drenched L.A. mark this debut filled with intrigue, heart, and echoes of Chandler and Leonard.”
—Aaron Philip Clark, author of the ITW Thriller Award-nominated Under Color of Law
“Lindstrom brings his large cast to life in a rich, lively, suspenseful novel that has, in abundance, realism, humor (and a satisfying body count).”
—Castle Freeman Jr., acclaimed author of Go with Me
“An insanely paced thriller . . . Combines a deep knowledge of the history of Los Angeles with a propulsive modern take on the noir tradition.”
—James & Paula O’Byrne, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, New Orleans Times Picayune
“Lindstrom delivers a wild ride in technicolor.”
—John McMahon, author of The Good Detective
“Bold, cinematic, shocking, compelling, and addictive . . . Destined to be a genre classic.”
—Will “the Thrill” Viharo, author of Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me
“A clever and gripping thriller . . . It is hard to believe this is a debut.”
—Jeff Ayers, First Clue Reviews
About the Author
A 4-time Emmy© nominee, Jon Lindstrom can be found in studio movies, independent films and literally thousands of hours of TV, working with several A-list directors and alongside many of Hollywood’s biggest names. An award-winning filmmaker, Jon's films have won multiple film festival accolades. His writing has twice won recognition at the Launchpad Prose Competition, and several top screenplay competitions. For several years he was the drummer for The High Lonesome, scoring two hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Jon divides his time between Los Angeles and New York City. WEBSITE