Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Book Review: "Errors and Omissions" by Paul Goldstein

Michael Seeley an alcoholic attorney is entering a personal and professional abyss. His career as an attorney has been focused on the artists who wish to keep their art, a lot of pro bono work but he also works for a large firm in New York City so he also works for some corporations who still pay the bills by trying to sometimes cheat those same artists. Michael Seeley mainly wants to fight for the little guy.

One of those corporations wants Seeley. United Pictures, a huge movie studio, still has the rights to its cash cow, the Spykiller series, now coming up on its eighth installment. However due to a recent Supreme Court Decision the author's carry rights and not the Studios. Before a sequal can be made the original author needs to give permission to the studio to use the story. What appeared to be a simple legal brief, however, takes Seeley back to the Hollywood of the 1950s when blacklisted writers were forced to conceal their identity to sell scripts—a practice that muddies the Spykiller pedigree for United. Soon, Seeley finds himself in a violent tug-of-war among studio bosses, the screenwriter's union and long-forgotten blacklist victims. Sharp dialogue and a well-formed main character more than make up for a shortage of action and a finale that could use a bit more kick. Goldstein, who does a fine job of breaking down complicated moral, ethical and historical issues to understandable nuggets, has laid the foundation for what could be a strong franchise.

In this novel the reader travels from New York city to Hollywood and then to Germany to track down the original author of "Spykiller." All the time Seeley is wondering where his loyalties lie, with the studio or with the little guy, the author. Also the twists and turns of who's the good guy and who is the bad guy keeps this page turner an exciting read.

Great book for someone who likes a whodunit or a legal mystery. The nice thing about this book is that it opens up a chance for the author to have an ongoing series with a character that could lead a series of books.

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