Stardust by Joseph Kanon is a mystery novel set in Hollywood soon after the end of World War II. This is a spy thriller which kicks off with a GI named Ben receiving word that his brother Danny, a film director, is near death in a hospital in California after falling from a balcony. The brothers are German immigrants and Jews whose late father stayed in Germany during the war where he also was involved in film production.
The Hollywood gossip is that Danny jumped with the intention of taking his own life. As facts about Danny’s life unfold, Ben believes otherwise.
This is a classic who done it populated with Hollywood movie stars and German and Polish immigrants working in the film industry. There are communist spies, government bureaucrats, a grieving widow, and a baffled brother trying to solve his brother’s murder.
I enjoyed most of this book up until it went in the Red Scare direction. I thought parts if the book dragged on a bit, especially the government hearings. The end of the story wasn’t what I expected either, but I never seem to know who the culprit is in suspense stories! I think the author is great at writing dialogue. All in all, it was an interesting read.