Some of you who know Terrill Lee Lankford from books like Shooters might be thinking that Earthquake Weather is something along the same line. You'd be wrong.
I suppose you could call Earthquake Weather a crime novel, or even a mystery novel. There's a murder, and it's solved at the end of the book, but the murder and its investigation are secondary to the real subject of this book, which is Hollywood. And not just Hollywood but the people who inhabit it. Not the Big Guys, but the strugglers: the starlets who don't quite make it and turn to crack and sex, the schlock directors who just want to make money and don't give a damn about what kind of movies they make, the writers who burn out after seeing their ideas mangled one time too many, the low-level flunkies like Mark Hayes, the narrator, who's been going from job to job, waiting for the Big Break that will allow him to make movies. But who's going to hire a guy who's suspected of killing his latest boss?
If you're looking for a tour though some of the lower circles of Hell and don't want to dig out that copy of Dante's Inferno that you didn't read in college, you should grab Earthquake Weather and start reading. Nathanael West did Hollywood in the '30s about as well as it could be done. Lankford does the '90s and matches him stride for stride. Check it out.