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A Novel Way of Getting Even for Hollywood's Character Assassination

Steve Harvey / ONLY IN L.A.

May 14, 2004|Steve Harvey

Michael Connelly is considered one of the top mystery writers around, but when Hollywood got ahold of his novel "Blood Work," the filmmakers blithely removed one of his main characters: the villain.

Instead, an amiable charter fisherman named Buddy, who provided comic relief in the novel, was turned into the serial killer. Talk about a surprise ending for Connelly's fans -- and Connelly!

In his new novel, "The Narrows," a sort of sequel to "Blood Work," Connelly takes a subtle (and surreal) swipe at Tinseltown by having the characters complain about their portrayals in the movie.

"I don't know if you saw the movie, but they made me a waitress in the movie," says one woman. "That's not right. I'm a nurse." As for Buddy, when his offer to help out on an L.A. murder investigation is rebuffed in "The Narrows," he complains: "It wasn't like in the movie where I was made out to be the creep...."

Then Connelly turns on Buddy. He has his main character, Harry Bosch, remind the fisherman: "They paid you, didn't they?" Poor Buddy just can't seem to win.

Back-to-bad-back businesses: Michael Bird of Calabasas found a mall for those who like to work out a little -- or too much (see photo).

None of the above: Surfers are in a class by themselves, judging from the sign William Harper of San Diego saw at the Christ Lutheran Church in Pacific Beach (see photo).

Thanks for the warning: Marshall Giller of Winnetka noticed a marquee that seemed to be frank about the hazards of shaving (see photo).

Fashion police alert: The crime log of the Huntington Beach Independent carried a complaint from a resident who reported that her ex-boyfriend's girlfriend "ruined her lingerie by stretching it out when she put it on."

Mondegreen of the day (law enforcement division): Our latest exercise in miscommunication comes from Carla Barr of Redondo Beach: "Back when reports were dictated into Dictaphones, a new secretary at the Drug Enforcement Administration dutifully typed up that, for their protection, every agent donned a 'rain jacket' before going out to serve a search warrant. The narcs, of course, had been sporting distinctive raid jackets to identify themselves as police officers."

miscelLAny: Deloris St. John read this item in the Laguna Niguel News: "A woman reported her neighbors constantly order pizza and have it delivered to her residence." Asked St. John: "How's this a problem?"

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Steve Harvey can be reached at (800) LATIMES, Ext. 77083, by fax at (213) 237-4712, by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A. 90012, and by e-mail at steve.harvey@latimes.com.

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