Novelist James Ellroy has published a $1.99 Byliner Fiction story about Fred Otash, a famous private detective and writer who made his reputation in Hollywood.

Follow this link to read an excerpt from “Shakedown,” Ellroy’s new story at Byliner Fiction. In the video embedded above, we interviewed Ellroy about his early writing career.

You can read the real-life Otash’s obituary at The Los Angeles Times: “Otash’s clients included entertainers Frank Sinatra, Errol Flynn, Edward G. Robinson, Judy Garland, Lana Turner and Bette Davis, well-known lawyers such as F. Lee Bailey, Jerry Geisler and Melvin Belli, and both major political parties. Otash prowled Hollywood by night in a chauffeured Cadillac full of women he called ‘little sweeties,’ and much like a fictional private eye conjured up by Raymond Chandler, drank a quart of Scotch and smoked four packs of cigarettes a day.”

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