Blonde Lightning: A Novel

Front Cover
Random House, 2005 - Fiction - 288 pages
1 Review
In Earthquake Weather, Terrill Lee Lankford mined his own experiences as a player in the glamorous, ruthless movie business to create a West Coast noir hailed by T. Jefferson Parker as “part Raymond Chandler and part Nathanael West.” Now get ready for another thrill ride down the Boulevard of Broken Dreams–where a wrong turn can lead to a very dead end.

Out of work in The Industry, Mark Hayes decides he’s desperate enough to hitch his wagon to the dubious star of Clyde McCoy, a hard-drinking veteran screenwriter known only too well for being difficult. Clyde has secured the backing to produce his latest script, a noir homage called Blonde Lightning. With a popular action star and a sexy up-and-comer on board in the lead roles, he’s cleaning up his act, dusting off his director’s chair, and is determined to make the picture happen.

For investing the last of his savings into the production, Mark gets the title of associate producer. However, his real job is on-set troubleshooter–his duties ranging from keeping a randy old character actor on a short leash to caring for and feeding some very high-maintenance investors. But the real trouble starts when a crewmember is nearly electrocuted. Clyde suspects sabotage, compliments of Mace Thornburg, an industry bottom-feeder with a grudge against nearly everyone in Hollywood, including Clyde’s martial-arts-actress girlfriend. After she’s almost killed in another suspicious accident, Clyde and Mark resort to drastic measures to exact revenge. But when the payback plot takes an unscripted turn, the deadly drama is suddenly no longer in front of the cameras.

Now, trapped like a pawn in a classic double-cross scenario, Mark realizes the only way out is for him and Clyde to wade deeper into a violent nightmare of treachery, lies, and murder as black and inescapable as the La Brea tar pits. It’s a trip Clyde seems more than willing to take . . . and that Mark discovers is part of the high price for finally getting his name on the silver screen.

From the Hardcover edition.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - datrappert - LibraryThing

Lankford's conclusion to the story he began in Earthquake Weather reads like a combination of Joe Lansdale and Charles Willeford, though not as over the top as Lansdale or as sociopathic as Willeford ... Read full review

Blonde lightning: a novel

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

By Lankford's own admission, this is the final chapter in the saga of B-moviemakers Clyde McCoy and Mark Hayes, first seen in Earthquake Weather . When Clyde calls with another hare-brained movie ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

TERRILL LEE LANKFORD is the author of Earthquake Weather, Shooters, and Angry Moon. He has also written, produced, and directed numerous documentaries and feature films. He most recently directed Blue Neon Night: Michael Connelly’s Los Angeles. Visit his website at

From the Hardcover edition.

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