The Biggest Liar in Los Angeles
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First Published on Oct 10 2020
“Kuhlken mixes historical and fictional characters with an ease that will remind many of Max Allan Collins’s Nate Heller series (True Crime, etc.). He’s equally adept at melding the murder inquiry with Hickey’s personal struggles.” ~ Publishers’ Weekly
Throughout 1926, Harry Chandler used the persuasive reach of his Los Angeles Times to assure that railroads were out, and cars were in.
And in May of that vital year, celebrity evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson went swimming at Ocean Park beach and vanished, presumed drowned. Millions mourned or prayed for her miraculous return. On June 23, she walked out of the Mexican desert and crossed the border into Douglas, Arizona.
Though her story of a kidnapping convinced her followers, the district attorney didn’t buy it. A grand jury hearing was underway when a lynching happened in Echo Park, only yards from Sister Aimee’s Angelus Temple. The victim was an old friend of Tom Hickey, whose distress is aggravated because the police and popular media have apparently conspired to deny the lynching occurred.
Tom, who leads a dance orchestra and works days selling meat, adds to his jobs the pursuit of killers who may belong to the Ku Klux Klan. The investigation leads him to Angelus Temple and Sister Aimee, whose sermon entitled “The Biggest Liar in Los Angeles” provides him with clues and suspects. They include publishing mogul William Randolph Hearst and Harry Chandler, infamous owner of the Los Angeles Times.
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