Loser’s Town is the first novel by Daniel Depp, half-brother of the more famous Johnny.
As a Hollywood insider, it is full of satirical glimpses of life in the public eye and what goes on behind closed doors. Dave Spandau, ex-stuntman turned private eye is an intelligent and gruff hero that you can’t help but warm to, and let’s hope that Depp has plans for more outings for him.
The plot involves Bobby Dye – an up and coming he-man movie star who has encountered a problem and needs help from someone like Spandau to sort it out. Add in a low-life drugs baron Richie Stella who wants to become a movie producer, his two dumb henchmen, Spandau’s mad Irish friend and some girls and you have the ingredients for a monumental cock-up as they all get reeled into what’s happening.
I really enjoyed this book, but overall it felt like a slightly sub-par Elmore Leonard with added raunch for me. The characters were all parodies of types we all know, but most worked well during their lifespans in the book. One minor quibble, on the movie set, I did think naming the drunken old Brit Lord Sir Ian, (as would using any other existing Sir’s name like Ben or Anthony etc), was rather distracting though. An entertaining debut – hope for more.