Inquisition

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AuthorHouse, 2004 - Fiction - 280 pages
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Setting is the New York theater district, 1946. Bill Flanagan and Dan Shaw, Army buddies from World War II audition for a new musical and become part of the cast of Gentlemen Again. Both men are fascinated by the beautiful chorus girls. Bill wrangles dates for them and falls in love with Jen Kelly. Dan's quiet nature takes a back seat to Bill's outgoing personality.

Director Brian Casey molds a cast of newcomers into a near perfect production and is furious when the producers insist he hire maverick comedian Jack Boyd as the headliner. Boyd is a troublemaker, known for his pompous, arrogant attitude. Off stage the cast tries to avoid him but his inflated ego won't allow him to accept rejection. As a payback for his dirty tricks the comedian is the target of a hoax. He threatens everyone he thinks was involved.

Boyd surprises everyone on opening night by publicly crediting the young director with the show's success. Most of the cast attend the wedding of Jen Kelly and Bill Flanagan. Brian Casey proves himself an excellent entertainer and is the life of the party at their reception.

Prominent ticket broker Josh Golden introduces Marianne Gordon, his top agent, to the cast. Dan Shaw and Marianne are attracted to each other right from the start. Their true feelings come out when they are stranded for hours on an amusement park ride that malfunctions. They are open and honest with each other, but she's afraid their emotions will interfere with his promising career and suggests they put them on hold for now. She thinks marriage would stifle his chances for success. Jen tries to calm her fears but is only partially successful.

Jack Boyd is murdered. Police focus on Brian Casey as the prime suspect. The Crew know Brian is innocent and Marianne lets him know they are all aware of his off hours gay activities. Reporter Paul Gray meets old friend Marianne and she introduces him to the cast. Paul digs up information on Boyd's past that leads to the killer. Paul is the hero, but Dan Shaw makes out better than anyone.

The Crew help Julian overcome a racial problem so he and Harriet, another member of the Crew, can marry. Marianne and Dan help them lease an apartment and evade the restrictions of a narrow minded building manager. A night out finds the Crew caught in a police raid. Marianne and Dan miss it, but an untimely phone call interrupts Dan's proposal. He is offered a movie contract and she refuses to go with him. She's afraidmarriage will limit his success. She goads him into an argument so he will go to California alone. Later she reads of his marriage in a trade paper and is so devastated she seeks haven on the secluded farm of her friend.

PART II

Years later Bill Flanagan accidentally finds a clue to the whereabouts of Marianne. He talks Dan into calling her. A Thanksgiving Day visit precedes a weekend reunion with the Crew. The reunion puts them on the road to romance again. The in-between years are explained to each other and they realize time has not dimmed their love at all. Dan's honesty with Marianne's family wins them over and he tries to convince her they can pick up where they left off many years ago. She has her doubts but he encourages her to try. He introduces her to airplane travel and takes her to his home on Long Island. The trip is followed by a visit to Josh Golden and a tour of their old neighborhoods in New York City. They are invited to an old fashioned jam session and Dan sings in public again after many years of silence.

A weekend at a resort hotel gets out of hand when bubble bath is accidentally added to the Jacuzzi. Later they embark on an Alaska vacation and it begins with more laughable Frick and Frack episodes. They enjoy each other completely and renew all aspects of their old lov

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