THE RED CARPET AT CANNES
by Duane Byrge
* Mystery *
Author: Duane Byrge
A longtime movie writer and editor for the Hollywood Reporter, Byrge
turns to the thriller genre to tell the tale of Ryan Hackbart, who, like
Byrge, covers the Cannes Film Festival for the fictional Hollywood
Hackbart finds himself in the middle of a Hitchcock-style mystery as
he becomes the prime suspect in the murder of the lead actress of the
festival’s opening-night film. Interrogated but released, his passport
is confiscated, and he is hounded by the world media. He must solve the
murder before the culprit kills him or the police arrest him.
Aided by his female companion, Delisha, Ryan’s investigation thrusts
Hackbart into the underbelly of the most glamorous film festival in the
world and opens his eyes to what lies underneath the glitz and glamour.
After a long, successful career as a film journalist, Byrge decided to change to the novel format to tell his story.
“You can reveal truths within a novel that you can’t convey with the
‘facts’ of a news story,” Byrge explains. “It allows me to flesh out the
full story of the events I have covered.”
THE RED CARPET AT CANNES will please mystery fans and film
buffs alike. It’s a five-star travelogue straight into a celebrity
universe of dazzling parties, high-end cuisine, superstar celebrities,
high fashion, and movie-world politics.
Delisha’s shoulders. At the gold-handled door of their Carlton Hotel suite, he
snapped in the entry card. He pushed the
door open, and Delisha turned, facing him. As the evening breeze snuggled in
across the room, Ryan saw that the windows
had been left open. The curtains
fluttered, and he could see the brightly lit yachts. A grand eruption of pinks, blues, silvers, and greens sparkled across the sky.
The kaleidoscope of colors exploded as the fireworks shimmered down, and formed
an aurora of magical brilliance. Ryan
envisioned Cary Grant and Grace Kelly
in To Catch a Thief at her door at the Carlton. In that incandescent flash of his mind’s eye,
that gloriously romantic movie moment
was no longer an unattainable reflection
for Ryan. Through the crazed magic of the Cannes Film Festival,
Ryan and Delisha had morphed into the forms of Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. Ryan’s all-time favorite movie moment from To
Catch a Thief had entered into the frame of his own life – he in his black tux, and she in
her light blue gown.
The Hollywood Reporter for more than 20 years. Starting out as a secretary for
the entertainment industry newspaper while he was a graduate student at the University of Southern
Byrge rose to serve in various capacities, including news editor and senior
film critic. He serves as a consultant to the Chicago International Film
Festival, where he brought Halle Berry to Chicago in 2001 for a career tribute.
native, Byrge holds a Ph.D. in Communications, with an emphasis in Cinema, from
the University of Southern
where he has served as a lecturer. His Ph.D. dissertation was the basis for the
book, “The Screwball Comedy Films,” which he co-authored. The book was
re-released in hardcover in 1991 by McFarland Publishing and re-released in
paperback in 2001 as part of the publication’s Classic Series.
professor of Mass Communications at Virginia
State University, Byrge teaches journalism, motion picture history and
appreciation, and mass communications. He is working on a book on movie
producers, “Before the Shooting Begins,” which will be published by the University of California, Berkeley Press.