Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Phillip Margolin's "Woman with a Gun"

Former trial attorney Phillip Margolin has been writing full-time since 1966. All of his many novels have been New York Times bestsellers.

Here he dreamcasts an adaptation of his new novel, Woman with a Gun:
Woman with a Gun takes place in three time periods. In the present (2015) Stacey Kim, a young woman who has just gotten her MFA, goes to New York City to write the great American novel and develops writer’s block. While on a lunch break from her job as a receptionist she goes to the Museum of Modern Art and sees Kathy Moran’s Pulitzer Prize winning photograph, “Woman with a Gun.” She is mesmerized by the photograph and researches its origin with the idea of writing a novel inspired by the photo. Stacey discovers that the woman standing on the beach in her wedding dress staring out to sea while holding an antique, western six shooter is Megan Cahill. In 2005, Moran found her in shock on the beach in the early morning in the seaside town of Palisades Heights. Moran took the famous photo before leading Megan up to the million dollar beach front home she shared with multi-millionaire Raymond Cahill to whom she was wed only hours earlier. Moran finds Raymond in his den where he has been shot to death. Ten years later the crime has still not been solved.

The novel moves back to 2005 and we meet Jack Booth, a heavy drinking, womanizing Special Prosecutor who has been sent by the Justice Department to help the local DA who is way over his head with this headline making case. It turns out that Jack and Kathy Moran have a history and a good part of the book deals with the rekindling of their steamy relationship while Jack is trying to figure out who killed Raymond Cahill.

As I wrote the scenes with Jack and Kathy I found myself thinking about the old, black and white noir crime movies like The Big Sleep and my favorite, The Maltese Falcon, or their modern equivalents like Body Heat. If Woman with a Gun is ever made into a movie I’d cast Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall as Jack and Kathy. Are they still available or have they retired?
Visit Phillip Margolin's website and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue