Hollywood Babylon: A Review of Ross McMeekin’s “The Hummingbirds”

The opening image of Billy Wilder’s film noir masterpiece, Sunset Boulevard, captivated audiences when it premiered in 1950: a man’s corpse floating in a swimming pool owned by a faded Hollywood starlet. How did he end up there? Who killed him? The tone was ominous, the danger real, yet due to decades of screen and print copycats, the same scene today has become a crime story cliché—think, for instance, of the needlepoint parody of the facedown murder victim in the […]

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