Iain McLaughlin

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Movie Star

a noir thriller

Everybody comes to Hollywood... not everybody survives.

Sergeant Jim Munro just pulled a case that could make a career.

Or kill it.

A woman found murdered in LA. Her name was Chelsea Raines, she was a porn star and she was mutilated, cut to pieces while she was still alive.

Investigating Chelsea’s broken dream of Hollywood fame leads Munro to the world of the porn industry, to brutal murder and to his only solid lead, a model named Alexa.

Pressured by his superiors and internal politics, the investigation could kill more than just Munro’s career.

Movie Star is available for Kindle here from Amazon.com.

2015 reprint cover

There will be a sequel, Forgive Me Father, in 2019.


When this was initially put onto Kindle, I used a pseudonym because the book is very violent, has a lot of bad language and a good deal of sex in it. Not very Beano at all and since I was working on the Beano at the time... best use a pseudonym. However, times change and I'm now a freelancer, so my own name is reinstated.

Unless you hate it - in which case that Jack O'Brian is a real hack, isn't he?

So... why did a guy from the Beano write a violent noir thriller about the porn industry?  Well, can you imagine anything less Beano than that kind of thriller? That is a big part of the reason. I had spent most of my career writing for kids. Nothing wrong with that at all. I still love writing for kids. However, as a writer, I felt the need to stretch myself. 

My first novel, Blood and Hope was a Doctor Who story but it was about racism, about family, about friendship, about love, about how far you'll go for the people you love. The UNIT play The Wasting was about xenophobia and Little England-ism. I wish I could claim it was extraordinarily prescient but let's face it - Europe was always going to tear the Tory Party to bits and they were always going to take the rest of us down with them. It saddens me that I'm not sure the apocalyptic version we did is actually more dangerous than the truth. But I digress. I like writing about more adult themes. I also just really like noir, so... I wrote one. 

The hero of the book is, to some extent, a Mary-Sue. He is a Scottish cop living in LA. His reactions are, for the most part, what mine would have been. There's a lot of me in him. Physically, though, I saw him as looking a bit more like the wrestler Chris Jericho. He's not freakishly tall or muscled but he's a bit of a wolverine. He's dogged and he doesn't give up.

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