The Dead Circus

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The Dead Circus
Dust-jacket from the first edition
Author John Kaye
Country United States
Language English
Genre Novel
Publisher Grove Press(publisher)
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardcover, Paperback)
Pages 336 pp
ISBN 0-8021-4017-3

The Dead Circus is a neo-noir crime novel set in 1960s-1980s Los Angeles by John Kaye. The novel was shortlisted by the New York Times for their Book of the Year list in 2003.

Plot details[edit]

It is set in 1986 and following the storyline of Kaye's first novel Stars Screaming, Gene Burk has just lost his fiancee in an airplane crash. Afraid that he will lose himself entirely to his grief, Gene starts to obsess over the 20-year-old mysterious death of rockabilly newcomer Bobby Fuller. He had worked the case, unsuccessfully, when he was a cop with the LAPD, and as he begins to reopen old leads, he starts to shake up the wrong people, putting his own life in danger. Gene is then contacted by Alice McMillan, a former member of the Manson family who needs his help in putting that life behind her once and for all. They ultimately venture off together into Death Valley in search of Charles Manson's 16 mm snuff films that may contain the answers Gene is looking for regarding the circumstances of Fuller's death.

Film adaptation[edit]

A big screen adaptation of the novel is in active development. Melissa Leo has been cast as Alice McMillan, and Michael C. Hall is also attached.[1]


  1. ^ Jay A. Fernandez (March 3, 2011). "What Oscar Winners Are Doing Next". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 3, 2011. 

External links[edit]