Only the Dead Know Burbank: A Novel

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With Lon Cheney and Boris Karloff among its characters, this sweeping and stylish love letter to the golden age of horror cinema tells the wonderful, tragic story of Maddy Ulm. It takes readers through her rise from the complicated shadows of Berlin’s first experiments with expressionist cinema to the glamorous deserts of Hollywood. For Maddy has a secret. A secret that has given her incredible insight into the soul of horror. A secret that has a terrible price as well.

A young girl awakens in a hastily dug grave—vague memories of blood and fever, her mother performing a mysterious ceremony before the world went away. Germany has lost the first great war and Europe has lost millions more to the Spanish Flu epidemic. But Maddy has not only survived, she has changed. No longer does she eat, sleep, or age. No longer can she die. After taking up with a pair of street performers, she shocks and fascinates the crowds with her ability to survive outrageous traumas. But at a studio in Berlin, Maddy discovers her true calling: film.

With her intimate knowledge of fear, death, and realms beyond the living, she practically invents the modern horror genre on the spot. Before long, she travels to California and insinuates herself in Hollywood as the genius secretly behind The Phantom of the Opera, Dracula, and Frankenstein. And yet she must remain in the shadows—a chilling apparition suspended eternally between worlds.

Clever, tragic, and thoroughly entertaining, Only the Dead Know Burbank introduces readers to one of the most unique, unforgettable characters in fiction.

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About the author

Bradford Tatum has worked as a writer and actor in both film and television. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. Only the Dead Know Burbank is his first novel.

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Additional Information

Publisher
HarperCollins
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Published on
Oct 18, 2016
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9780062428769
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Fantasy / Historical
Fiction / Horror
Fiction / Occult & Supernatural
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The new book in the groundbreaking series that reveals the origins of "The Lovecraft Squad”—a super-secret worldwide organization dedicated to battling the eldritch monstrosities given form in H. P. Lovecraft’s fevered imagination. In April 1936, Lovecraft’s novella The Shadow Over Innsmouth was first published. Written five years earlier, but oddly rejected by every magazine it was ever submitted to, it accurately described a series of events that actually happened in February 1928, when federal government agents raided the ancient Massachusetts seaport of Innsmouth and attempted to eradicate a deviant race of ichthyoid creatures which had been interbreeding with the human population for decades, if not centuries.

There was no way that the reclusive pulp writer could have known so much about a case where the details had been withheld for fear of creating a panic among the public. Following these startling revelations, the F.B.I. went back and investigated more closely into the stories that Lovecraft was publishing as “fiction.” Incredibly, it soon began to emerge that the events in Innsmouth were not a solitary event—and the monstrosities the author described really did exist.

To combat these cosmic horrors, the Human Protection League (H.P.L.) was established to investigate and combat these otherworldly invaders. Down through the decades since, the only defense that has stood between humanity and these creatures of chaos are the agents of the H.P.L.—or, as they are sometimes known to those few who are aware of their existence: The Lovecraft Squad.

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