SANTA MONICA —British born author Steve (aka: Ivan) Hayes first arrived in Hollywood in the late 1940s and moved here permanently in 1950. Once an actor, he helped support himself by parking cars at some of Hollywood’s most glamorous and well-known hot spots on the Sunset Strip. He became friends during that time with legends such as, Ava Gardner, Lana Turner, Errol Flynn and Marilyn Monroe to name a few. In 1955, the handsome actor started writing and has now completed not only books, but movies and scripts produced and aired on TV.
I recently had the great opportunity to enjoy his latest fictional work, “A Woman To Die For,” which was published by the esteemed publishing house Bear Manor. The book’s protagonist Mitch Holliday is a down on his luck investigator who after being framed for money laundering is quickly lowered to helping his P.I. partner, Lionel Banks, to search for and find a young lady named Lila Hendricks. Mitch soon finds himself lured into even more action and troubles while on the case.
Mitch crosses paths with the rich and famous and the ordinary criminal and is tempted and after years of being in the private investigation business he is not sure where his life and career are going. All the while, Lila Hendricks remains his focus and immediately the story takes a turn once several tragedies culminate into what has become Mitch’s dysfunctional life and career.
Whenever Steve Hayes writes a book, you can expect it to move at a warp pace, but not difficult to keep up with. His stories move more like movies and television shows than the ordinary novel. Though Hayes is far from ordinary and this latest page turner entices the reader to take a chance, and within a few dozen pages you won’t be able to put the book down.
Being a part of the end of the Hollywood golden age himself, this book, as well as all of Steve Hayes’s works, are peppered with references to the classic noir era of films and unlike many who have to research this era, Hayes lived it, saw it first hand and witnessed some of the very things he writes so eloquently about in this book.
Next week, Canyon News tackles his novel “Viva Gringo!” Though I give this book my approval, it’s surely a very concise story filled to the brim and running over with excitement, splendor and all things Hollywood.