A novice reporter gets the story of a lifetime as Marilyn Monroe personally compliments him on a review he wrote if the new collected works of Carl Sandburg. Imagine his excitement and how elated he feels and the reaction of his boss who assigns him to write an article on the unsolved murder of the Black Dahlia. Marilyn wants Rory our reporter to write and tell her story. Marilyn wants the world to take her seriously. Rory makes a notable phone call agreeing to meet with her and is reminded that the story belongs to his paper the herald Examiner.
The Black Dahlia murder of Elizabeth Short was what Rory had to solve as she was a 22-year-old mother whose body was found with extensive mutilation and cuts and no blood at the scene indicating she was killed somewhere else.
Rory long is the son of Rose Long, daughter of Huey long and now seems to have the attention of the feds who came to the home of his boss making sure he keeps an eye on Rory and monitors he every word. This was the time period of the McCarthy trials where communism was at the forefront and many in the public in different fields were accused of being communists. Meeting with Weisman the next morning and presenting his article on The Black Dahlia Murder Rory assumed from his research it was a member of the Medical profession who cut Elizabeth shorts Jody in two and drained all the blood.
As we enter the club along with Rory as the interview slowly takes shape and author art Johnson gives us a look into the Marilyn that most have yet to know. Intelligent book read talking about Arthur Miller and his influence on her and her career and the fun times with Truman compote we get a unique picture of the real Marilyn as Rory tries to keep focused and not distracted.
A simple poem to Marilyn from Sandburg sets an emotional tone within the novel as Marilyn explains her love for Sandburg and his for her like two ships colliding and becoming one Abe then being torn apart due to age and distance.
But Rory learns that j Edgar Hoover wants his article tabled and not printed about The Black Dahlia Murder. Why and how did he find out? Weisman was printing it in fashion.
Marilyn seems taken with Rory and shows up late one night to talk about her poems her feelings and winds up on her couch but once again she leaves abruptly. Why Rory and why her unusual manner?
Her poems explain her inner feelings about her loneliness and lack of understanding of others for others she is and who she wants the public to see. Events take on a different tone when Marilyn and Rory have this unusual encounter and Weisman somehow learns about it because of some photos sent to him by a unanimous person. Angry with Rory, Rory stands his ground and the end result of the encounter, threats of being fired land in Rory’s favor. Marilyn has her own agenda in mind and Rory seems to be the agent to deliver her messages to the world as he phones her to assure himself that she is okay but the person on the other end seems out of it. His article that disappeared on the Black Dahlia reappeared but what exactly will be posted?
Bent on spending time with Rory he changes his directions to meet with and deal with her erratic moods and behaviors. Someone is watching his every move and someone wants information on Marilyn but whom can Rory trust?
Things spiral out of control we learn about a covert organization that someone close to Marilyn is affiliated with and their goals to make sure certain people are protected. But, Marilyn was Rory’s obsession and he was hers too and getting close to her in many ways sealed a bond that even death could not severe. With his articles completed Rory would learn the power of her studio those around her and the disappointment about their decision not to publish his work.
Marilyn was complicated and depressed at times and few close to her even recognized it until something happened and Rory was told how needed he was in her life and to be there when possible. Consumed with her in every way and just wanting to be close to Marilyn no one Saw the final scene she was about to play.
Marilyn within this novel becomes a reality and real life figure to so many that would have liked to be in Rory’s shoes. Her dependence on his friendship, the loyalty she felt he gave her and even though she was surrounded by so many that appeared to care about her in her heart you get the feeling through her actions and her words that she would always be and feel alone. Rory was enamored with her and if he spoke out today even though he was created by author Art Johnson, he might say he had no regrets or that he wished he had one more day, time or hour with Marilyn.
Added in Rory and Weisman putting the pieces together about The Black Dahlia Murder and they began figuring out who the killer might be but will the person ever be caught? It’s still unsolved.
Her words were solemn when written and her depression comes through as the author whether fact or fictionalized gives readers a deeper insight into this icon that many still revere today.
In a note that says it all she said
“Alone, I’m always alone!
A message that few understood or that the world would eventually comes to understand!
The public never really knows a public figure and even though this is fictional you begin to read into the story as if the author had first hand knowledge about Marilyn. “All things that matter in life are there, if you are aware of their presence! Marilyn’s words within this book as created by the author giving us yet another insight into her thinking and realizing that if you open your eyes you just might see what is right in front of you but how many people really do?
As Weisman and Rory put the severed pieces of many puzzles together the author helps readers realize that Rory played an important role in the events that followed because of his grandfather Huey Long, the FBI wanting to close down the story of the Black Dahlia Murder and the theft of his article and then the return as well as the photos of him and Marilyn and who took them and did not make them public? We hear the voices of this organization and we learn the deceptions and deceits of many that are not exposed and the final outcome reminds us that even today there are covert organizations that watch over politicians and many others. You just can’t see them and the power this one yielded changed the course of what happened with Marilyn and many others.
Rory’s reaction to the final scene and her outreach to him in death leaves readers to understand the depth and breath of her feelings for Rory and the life he would lead in the future. The Black Dahlia Murder was his coveted prize but the real prize or the epitome of his life was whom he would forever remember and calls: My Marilyn.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/ Mj Network/Mj Magazine
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