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Beverly Hills Dead

(Rick Barron #2)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  3,274 ratings  ·  201 reviews
Set in Hollywood in 1947 and 1948, just after the Second War.

"Beverly Hills Dead" picks up several years after the first volume in the series, "The Prince of Beverly Hills," which was also set in Hollywood, but just before the start of the same war.

Rick Barron, a former cop, has risen to the head of production at Centurion Studios, and he's at the top of his game. Tension
...more
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published January 15th 2008 by Putnam Pub Group (first published 2008)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,274 ratings  ·  201 reviews


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Laura Belgrave
Sep 22, 2008 rated it did not like it
Stuart Woods knows how to write compelling novels. This isn’t one of them. The story follows the careers of a few movie stars and writers during the Hollywood witch hunts of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee determined to route out Communist sympathizers.

The story might have had potential. The execution, however, is unbelievably lackluster with shamefully boring dialogue and wooden characters. Part of me thinks I should’ve been paid to read it to completion.

P.S. This was actually the pap
...more
Jack Heath
3 Stars. The late 1940s in Hollywood was a time of difficulty. TV was coming, and with it major changes in the studio business model. Some would not survive but others, like Rick Barron's Centurion, would rise to the challenge. In the real world, a Cold War confronted the West. The Soviet menace was leading people in the States, Canada and the UK to find communists behind every bush. In DC, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) began investigating the possibility of communist influen ...more
Keith
Aug 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
Set in Hollywood in the early 1950’s Rick Barron is a movie land wunderkind on his way up. And it’s all too easy. Rick is a great guy with an easy going personality that always keeps his word. Glenna is his beautiful and faithful wife that never considers straying. Eddie Harris is his undemanding and trusting boss and the head of the studio who always gives Rick whatever he needs to be more successful---and this is the problem I have with the story---who are these people? I don’t think any of th ...more
Shirley
Apr 17, 2011 rated it liked it
The profanity, adult situations, and lesbian relationship make this a book that won't be donated to the school library or passed on to friends. The story took place in the 1940s when the House Un-American Activities Committee attempted to weed Communists out of writing, producing, and acting in Hollywood. Stuart Woods did an excellent job of incorporating real people into the context of his novel. The homicide/mystery evolves late in the story. The assailant and motive were disappointing. ...more
John
Nov 11, 2011 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
Shelves: woods, overdrive
Pathetic, high school writing. This is definite low for Woods!
Edmond Gagnon
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it
I'm glad I only borrowed this book from someone else's shelf, it came nowhere near to living up to it's promise of a fast-past sexy thriller full of nail biting twists and turns. The pace was okay but it took 3oo pages before anything really happened.
The story is an old Hollywood tale about the business side of things and how easy it was to get accidentally discovered and become a successful movie star. The only real jeopardy was pressure from the U.S. government who were pursuing communists in
...more
W.  Frazier
This novel is like book cotton candy. It’s light, breezy, and doesn’t involve a lot of brain cells — a pick-me-up for casual, quick entertainment (think poolside with a drink that has an umbrella in it). It’s the second entry to Stuart Woods’ Rick Barron series. The first book in the series was a little disconnected in its mindlessness. This entry is also light on substance. It does try to take on the subject of blacklisting, but the writing is surface-level, so the effort is merely a plot point ...more
Lynette
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fluffy treatment of an interesting time in history... probably shouldn't give this four stars, but the story was engaging. ...more
Stephen
Sep 10, 2016 rated it liked it
So far Stuart Woods' book " Beverly Hills Dead " is a mixture of fiction and non-fiction. The main characters are fictional but the time period is Hollywood after WWII. The names mentioned are all movie stars or movie moguls that existed in a difficult time period. The HUAC , the House UnAmerican Affairs Committee is stirring up some grim business. They are looking for Communists in prominent places.......like Hollywood !
Rick Barron, an ex-cop , first hired for some protection for Centurion Stu
...more
Kent
Apr 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
I usually like Woods books but I have mixed feelings on this one.

The plot of the book is that Rick Barron, now the head of production of Centurion Studios, is making a film. That's pretty much the plot. There are two subplots, namely one of the writers has been caught up in the Hollywood blacklist of communist sympathizers and the co-star of the picture is murdered. That's pretty much the whole story. Both subplots are not concluded until the final pages of the book.

I think this book would have
...more
Lorin Cary
Jan 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Woods jumps out of his normal present-day Stone Barrington territory here, and into post-World War II Hollywood where the House Un-American Activities Committee is investigating Communist Party activity in the film industry. I like it when an author ventures outsides familiar territory. Robert Parker's westerns are a good example, I think, of this done well. BHD less so. The characterization, setups, and dialogue seemed early on to have an uneasy edge to them. Hard to explain. They just didn't f ...more
Steve
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
January 2021 Ilike that in a murder mystery serious subjects like HUAC and "the red scare" are addressed as a subplot.

2-2018 what I said on 7-1-2013!!!!!!
4-16-2016 still recommend it.
1-12-14 re-re- read.
7-1-2013 I know this is a re-read but I never entered the first reading into Goodreads, probably 2011. After reading the book, again, i looked at some of the comments of fellow Goodreaderites and it seems we either liked it or disliked the book. I think Woods has done a wonderful service to bring
...more
Ethan
May 18, 2011 rated it did not like it
Yikes! After enjoying The Prince of Beverly Hills, I was really looking forward to what Stuart Woods had in store for the next novel to feature Rick Barron. Unfortunately, Mr. Woods showed up to this gunfight with a knife. The characters spoke in extremely stoic dialogue, and the mystery was a mere afterthought. (view spoiler) There is no need at all to rea ...more
Geni
Jan 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
Disappointing crime story from Stuart Woods. Fame comes too easily to an unknown actor. Money flows unchecked in post-WWII Hollywood. Movie sets are built and a movie filmed an unimaginable short amount of time. Names of well-known industry titans are dropped frequently but these names have little to do with this story. A writer is persecuted, threatened and loses his job thanks to McCarthy's infamous Communist witch hunt, and a devoted wife suddenly abandons him. But never fear: he experiences ...more
Sarah Schoesler
Sep 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
This was the first book I read by Stuart Woods and I can't say that I was too impressed. Based on the title, I expected the book to center around a murder, however, the murder didn't occur until halfway through the book. There were so many subplots that I felt the murder took a backseat almost as an after thought. It was intriguing to read about the blacklisting of communists in Hollywood after WWII, but once again this was another plot in the book with no real connection to the murder. I felt a ...more
Jennifer
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
I was mildly disappointed with this book. It was not at all like all of the other books that I've read of Stuart Woods, which I was rather enjoying at first, but then it started to drag on in places. I like the idea of a book about the 40's but I don't know if I liked the way it was carried off. This book will not make me avoid reading anything else by this author but it will influence me in letting people know to skip this one over because it's not as well written than the rest. I was also disa ...more
Marie
Aug 04, 2009 rated it did not like it
Stuart Woods usually writes a very entertaining read, but the sugary sweet characters (ALL of them) made me think this book was written by a Stepford wife. No character ever seemed to get angry over ANYTHING, including what sounded like an extremely bitter divorce. Whaaaat ??? I just couldn't get past the images of all the sugary characters frolicking through the grass on both prozac AND valium. Way to unrealistic. ...more
Kathy
Oct 06, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: bad-authors
Awful. This is the first book I've read by this author and the last too. I can't believe this guy has written 30 best selling novels. The entire story was dialogue with no charactor depth at all. In fact, I've decided to add another shelf to my profile and label it "Bad Authors". This book will be on that shelf. ...more
Patricia
Oct 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Not my favorite kind of mystery book, but it is okay. It did not hold my attention right away, and there was not enough character development for my taste. Some readers love this author's books and some don't, and I don't. However, this is my first time reading a book by this author. Maybe his other books are better. ...more
Bill
Nov 19, 2008 rated it it was ok
Tepid reading. Murder mystery set in the post WWll era. The most interesting parts are descriptions of how movies were made back then and how McCarthyism affected the industry. OK for an airplane read.
Kevin Coates
Apr 06, 2009 rated it did not like it
I didnt like this book very much for a couple reasons. It seemed like everyone in the book was super happy, to a point where it seemed unrealistic. Also the murder/mystery didnt take place until the last 50 pages or so. The ending was very predictable and sort of ruins the book.
Jan Aldergate
Entertaining if you want to read about movies people in the fifties - nice background with the McCarthy era, but no real mystery to this - no murder until halfway through the book and I didn't really find myself caring too much about any of the characters. ...more
Brittany
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Not as gripping as the first. The incorporation of the HUAC events was mild and could have been emphasized a bit more.



The author's note at the end about receiving fan mail is the most pompous thing I've ever seen.
...more
Jen
Sep 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
I am normally a big fan of Stuart Woods but this book was not one of my favorites from him. The story takes place in the movie industry post WWII. It jumps between the movie theme and communist theme and there are so many characters (some with alias, I had a hard time keeping everyone straight.
Kristin
May 31, 2008 rated it did not like it
When does the suspense come into play? I usually enjoy Woods' books, but dare I say it? This was boring. ...more
Marlu
Jun 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed it. A good, quick read.
Cindy Kester
Apr 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Not my favorite Woods book. Takes place in the 1940's during the Communism trials amongst the actors and actresses of the times. Enough said! ...more
Ann Baker
May 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
Was an interesting plot but I thought the author skimmed over the plot and simplified it.
Katy
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
Entertaining read, fun to read about the Old Hollywood era, though no depth to characters and a somewhat unsatisfying mystery plot.
Tomijo Gale
Jun 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
If I put as much thought into this review as the author put into his character development in this book, the review would run dry right about now.
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Stuart Woods is the author the New York Times-bestselling Stone Barrington series and Holly Barker series. He is an avid private pilot, flying his own jet on book tours. You may see his tour schedule and learn more about the author on his website.

Other books in the series

Rick Barron (2 books)
  • The Prince of Beverly Hills (Rick Barron, #1)

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