August 29 – September 23, 2022 Virtual Book Tour
“She wasn’t pretty but she was ours…”
Sandwiched between seedy businesses in the scorching east LA suburb of Glendale, The Damned Lovely dive bar is as scarred as its regulars: ex-cops, misfits and loners. And for Sam Goss, it’s a refuge from the promising life he’s walked away from, a place to write and a hole to hide in.
But when a beautiful and mysterious new patron to the bar turns up murdered, Sam can’t stop himself from getting involved. Despite their fleeting interaction, or perhaps because of it, something about her ghost won’t let go…
Armed with the playbook from the burned-out ex-cops, Sam challenges the police’s theory on the killing, butting heads with hardened detectives and asking questions nobody wants to answer. As his obsession takes hold so does his sense of purpose—as if uncovering the truth about the killer might heal some part of his own broken life. But the chase sets him on a collision course with a crooked charity, violent fundamentalists, corrupt cops, brazen embezzlers and someone dangerously close to home—all who want to make sure the truth never comes out.
Praise for The Damned Lovely:
“The Damned Lovely is the LA crime story born anew, an addictive mystery and a love letter to the careworn and forgotten places of Los Angeles—Los Angeles as it is right now. Adam Frost is a crime writer with a sharp new voice, telling a tale about the one thing everyone in Los Angeles has: desire. Desire for truth, for justice, for love, or maybe just a place to call home. Highly recommended.”
Jordan Harper, Edgar Award-winning author of She Rides Shotgun
“Frost’s crackling debut novel belongs on the shelf right next to Joseph Wambaugh and Michael Connelly. Crisp prose. An intricate plot worthy of Raymond Chandler, packed with scruffy, lovable, and lived-in characters that leap off the page. Frost brings a fresh voice and much-needed new blood to LA crime fiction.”
Will Beall, author of L.A. Rex and creator of CBS’s Training Day
“An unputdownable and suspenseful whodunnit: anchored in the quandary of manifesting destiny in grief and lost opportunity.”
Blake Howard, producer and host of the One Heat Minute podcast and Film Critic
“Every bourbon-soaked sentence in this endlessly entertaining first novel proves Joseph Wambaugh dipped Adam Frost by his ankle into the L.A. river. Roll over Michael Connelly, tell Raymond Chandler the news.”
Adam Novak, author of Rat Park and Take Fountain
Genre: Mystery, Crime
Published by: Down & Out Books
Number of Pages:
ISBN: 1643962531 (ISBN-13: 978-1643962535)
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | The Down & Out Bookstore
Read an excerpt:
I took a sip and checked my phone. Waiting for the screen to siiiing. Praying. Hoping.
She held her ground and I lost the fight.
The empty telephone. Reminding me, I had no excuses. To be in a better place. To be successful.
I was an American.
I was white.
I grew up safe and surrounded by love.
There was money for birthday parties and proper schools.
I had a college degree in communications.
I’d traveled to Southeast Asia. Seen Europe. Touched down in South Africa. I had a sweet girl who liked to cook and wanted a ring. We had an apartment in West Hollywood with good light.
I’d found a marketing gig early and wrote ad copy for seven years. Logos. Corporate promos. Internet ribbons. Microcopy drawl. Quippy garbage that paid the rent and then some.
I was on the right track.
Until I broke. Crashed the cart and pulled the plug on my world of California lies.
Staring into those smiling faces across a Doheny dinner table one night.
The masquerade of happiness.
The Instagram sham.
There was no substance. No truth. No intent for anything more than gain.
I had sealed the truth for years. Locked and bottled that depression south, convinced I could kick it. Convinced the gnaw would pass.
Things are great, I kept saying. Things are great.
But something about those faces on that very Doheny night popped the cork and shattered the glass. I called it out. I let it rip ugly. These weren’t my friends. They were assets. Nothing more.
This wasn’t love. This was compliance on rails.
I needed something pure. Something with purpose and mine all mine. That I truly adored.
So I quit the girl who liked to cook. Lost the apartment with the light and moved to Glendale. Where it was cheaper. Where there was no good light.
And worst of all. I was compelled by a force inside my bones to write something real. Something long and from the heart. Something maybe even wise.
This, more and more it seemed, may have been a grave mistake.
It was in no way working out.
Still, I refused to believe in misery. An honest rut is all. It’ll turn around soon. It has to. Because when you’re going through hell in Glendale, keep going. Right?
So. Soldier on. Live with intent and drown those voices out.
Drown. Them. Out. Soldier!
A red Trojan alpha bro was swipin’ right at the bar. Americana run off sipping a sea breezer with a skinny lime. Slice and I shared a healthy glare of disdain when Jewels crossed behind me and nodded to stool 9.
“She’s baaaack,” Jewels cooed.
And there she was. Hiding her green eyes under a black felt fedora and a worn-out paperback of To the Lighthouse. She had dark brown hair pinned low at the back. Wore a simple tight white V-neck tee exposing that soft skin around her collarbones. She sat straight. With her legs crossed in black jeans that pinched in at her waist and exposing a band of flawless smooth lower back. She kept her face down. Never spoke to a soul beyond ordering a drink. And never looked at her phone. Not once. Not once had I seen her look at her phone. Instead, she just buried her eyes in that book. Drowning out the world with a Negroni and Woolf’s words like some kinda mystery from a different era. She’d been in four times now by my count. And it was consistent. Early in the afternoon. Same drink. Same book. Alone. Like an oasis in this godforsaken Glendale desert.
Excerpt from The Damned Lovely by Adam Frost. Copyright 2022 by Adam Frost. Reproduced with permission from Adam Frost. All rights reserved.
ADAM FROST was born and raised in Vancouver. He began as an actor, and now works as a television writer and producer, best known for the crime shows Tribal and Castle. He lives on the east side of Los Angeles. He’s also one helluva T-ball coach.
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