In his latest triumphant novel, Aaron Latham pits Texas guts against Hollywood glitz when a modern-day cowboy turned screenwriter dusts off his Stetson in order to solve a murder.
Chick Goodnight has arrived in Hollywood to write a screenplay about his great-great-great-ever-so-great grandfather Jimmy Goodnight -- the legend who more or less invented the Texas cowboy during the 1870s (and who was featured in Latham's Code of the West and The Cowboy with the Tiffany Gun).
As the film's director -- smart and beautiful Hollywood veteran Jamie Stone -- shows Chick how to write for the screen, he finds his quaint Western-inspired code of ethics challenged by an industry in which casting departments pimp for their producers and overzealous method actors feel obliged to seduce their costars. But culture shock becomes the least of Chick's worries when his cousin, a young aspiring actress, dies under suspicious circumstances. Shortly, Chick -- taking a few heroic pages from his own script -- is forced to investigate before someone else meets his maker.
As Chick's misadventures take him from Hollywood to Texas and back again, Aaron Latham treats us to a bravura piece in which art imitates life imitating art.
Aaron Latham is best known for his novels and screenplays, including Urban Cowboy, Perfect, Code of the West, and The Cowboy with the Tiffany Gun. He has been a regular contributor to such publications as Rolling Stone, Esquire, and The New York Times. He lives in New York with his wife, Lesley Stahl.