Hidden Palms (Paperback)
Rota Books, 9781630231019, 280pp.
Publication Date: June 6, 2017
Meet Robert "Butch" Bliss. Once upon a time, he was a rising star in the adult filmed entertainment industry, but that was before the unfortunate incident with all that cocaine (not his) in the back of the car (also not his). Regardless, the DA was up for re-election that year, and so he made a point of throwing the book at this disreputable young man who was making a living shooting nudie films (that was true) and selling drugs (so very not true). In the end, Butch got a couple of years of free room and board at CCI in Tehachapi, CA. Throw in a little accidental misunderstanding in the prison shower one day, and a "couple" turned into a decade. You'd think a man would be sour on the world after that, but along the way, Bliss found his, well, not his "bliss," because that would be totally corny, but he found something similar, and as the 20th century comes to a close, Butch Bliss is out of jail, out of work, and living rent-free in the bungalow out behind Mrs. Chow's house. What's an ex-con, ex-porn star to do? Well, he does favors. Not those kind of favors. He gives aid to those who need help from someone who isn't afraid of jaywalking, or smoking in the lavatory on an airplane, or littering at a state park. He helps out the little guy, the disenfranchised, the downtrodden, and the underrepresented because he knows how badly the system will screw anyone. Hidden Palms begins with a favor (as they all do), and ends with a showdown between a motorcycle gang, rogue DEA agents, and a narcissistic narcotics entrepreneur. Stoic, unflappable, and easy-going, Bliss is the dude who strolls out of the sunset and offers to change the tire when you've got a flat along the side of the Pacific Coast Highway. He's the dude who will carry your groceries through that neighborhood where gangbanger drive-bys happen around the clock. He's the dude who will do just about anything, if you ask nicely. (And no, not those things; he doesn't do that sort of work anymore.)
About the Author
Harry Bryant lives in the Pacific Northwest with several bookshelves filled with old pulp novels.