A Murder in Hollywood: The Untold Story of Tinseltown’s Most Shocking Crime

Recorded Books. Feb. 2024. 9:04 hrs. ISBN 9781705080382. $19.99. CRIME
Journalist and screenwriter Sherman (Helltown: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer on Cape Cod) reveals the secrets behind the 1958 death of mobster Johnny Stompanato, who was the boyfriend of famed Hollywood actor Lana Turner. Sherman digs into the sensational case centered on Turner and her daughter, Cheryl Crane, who confessed to fatally stabbing Stompanato in an attempt to protect her mother from his increasingly violent rage. In addition to detailing the crime and the subsequent trial, Sherman expertly provides insight into Turner’s and Stompanato’s lives as well as the insidious culture within the entertainment industry. Narrating his own work, Sherman describes 20th-century Hollywood, where toxic masculinity and violence thrived under a glittering, glamorous facade. Though Sherman initially offers a monotone narration, his tone gradually changes as he applauds Turner’s ability to take control of her life after years of doing what men in authority told her to do. The author’s note emphasizes Sherman’s awe of these independent women who spoke out against abuse and violence within the industry.
VERDICT Lovers of true crime, gangsters, and the Golden Age of Hollywood will devour this book about an infamous case and the women who stood their ground.
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