On October 7, 1949, dark-haired starlet Jean Spangler kissed her five-year-old daughter goodbye and left for a night shoot at a Hollywood studio. “Wish me luck,” she said as she crossed her fingers, winked and walked away. She was never seen again. The only clues left behind: a purse with a broken strap found in a nearby park, a cryptic note and rumors about mobster boyfriends and ill-fated romances with movie stars.
Drawing on this true-life missing person case, The Song Is You tells the story of Gil “Hop” Hopkins, a smooth-talking Hollywood publicist whose career, despite a complicated personal life, is on the rise. It is 1951, two years after Jean Spangler’s disappearance and Hop finds himself unwillingly drawn into the still-unsolved mystery by a friend of Jean’s who blames Hop for concealing details about Jean’s whereabouts the night she vanished. Driven by guilt and fears of blackmail, Hop delves into the case himself, feverishly trying to stay one step ahead of an intrepid female reporter also chasing the story. Hop thought he’d seen it all, but what he uncovers both tantalizes and horrifies him as he plunges deeper and deeper into Hollywood’s substratum in his attempt to uncover the truth.
London Telegraph: Song Is You chosen a 2009 Crime Book of the Year
"A chilling second novel from Edgar-nominated Abbott spins the conventions of noir fiction into something fast, fierce and fresh ... a whiz-bang adventure through Tinseltown's underbelly. With abundant style and a tight convincing story, Abbott provides a retro thrill ride... Cain and Chandler are evoked in the rough-and-tumble period language ... but Abbott has her own voice, avoiding the genre's macho conventions, to evoke the young women who live 'in a gasp of tension.'"
"Sex, drugs and glamour, it's like a 242-page US Weekly from the '40s."
"Megan Abbott continues to be my absolute favorite new author, and her second novel, The Song Is You, is even better than her first—super-sexy, superbly written, richly atmospheric, and with an ending you'll never see coming!"
"I thought I was an ace student when it came to Hollywood Babylon-type stories, but [with The Song Is You] Megan leaves me in the dust. Leaves me in the dust, throws her Lucky in my face and grinds it out with a dainty twist of her stiletto."
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication: January 2007
Trade paperback, eBook
Read Eddie Muller, noir titan, on The Song Is You in the San Francisco Chronicle.