After getting stood up at an upscale bistro, one of those hot spots that spring up all over Lla land from time to time--and last about as long as the first paycheck-- Nick meets our requisite femme fatale, Eden Folet. Soon after he is a regular, because no matter how slick the hustler in Hollywood, he always falls for the dame. Besides, he’s danced this waltz before and come up smelling like roses.
It’s not long before he will do anything to have her, but the problem is she is the newlywed bride of Emerson Haddock, who is not only a bigger hustler, but also a city councilman. From there, the "Malibu Waltz" is on with a few changes of partners: Eden’s best friend, Ridley Notions, a gay boy friend, and a cast of Muscle Beach muscle which tries and discourage Nick from chasing Eden’s skirt.
O’Neill took some notes in the composition of this story and he obviously knows the lay of the land. Many people have tried their hand at Chandler, at trying to create that magic that exists somewhere between an utterly lost kind of writing, and something that intellectuals claw each other about, but O’Neill succeeds. There is nothing of the parody, or the quick attempt at style. Its just a wonderfully written, noir type of story with updated hardboiled prose. Marvelous work. I would suggest following Grant O’Neill because he is bound to make waves, and not just across Malibu.
Look for Malibu Waltz in the July issue.