The Big Farewell by Dan Leissner | Script Revolution

The Big Farewell

The debauched Jazz Baby dies a lonely death and – back from the dead – recruits a hard-boiled gun for hire, to wreak revenge on her abusers and exploiters



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My novel "The Big Farewell" published on Amazon:

New York City. The Roaring Twenties. Joe’s big and ugly. Scarred inside-out by the Great War, left with half a face, a prosthetic mask. Hard-boiled, cynical, consumed by hate for hate’s sake. The Mob’s go-to guy, a leg-breaker, a killer, we see him do both.
Joe does odd jobs for respectable people. Like find Starr, the Jazz Baby, and take her home to her parents. Joe crashes the party, but she gives him the slip. Is later found drowned on a lonely beach. It’s written off as suicide. Her parents insist she was the perfect angel, who never drank or went with men. Joe’s seen the wild child; he smells a rat.
She’s made an impression on Joe: “Who gave you your scars, baby?” he wonders. Then Starr materializes in Joe’s apartment, as large as life. And tasks Joe with a mission: to answer that question. Joe’s old army buddy, Pat, a lieutenant on the N.Y.P.D., owes Joe a favor. Joe saved his life, during the War. Pat shows Joe the autopsy report. That bad smell gets stronger.
Starr gives Joe clues. Her hidden diaries. Joe burgles the family’s fashionable apartment. Her parents live in style. Her father’s a failure as a businessman – where’s the money coming from?
Starr’s “memory books” go back to her childhood. Told in flashback, they chart the destruction of her innocence and her debauched adulthood. Her reliance on drink and drugs; her loathing of men and the violence in her warped sex life. They reveal the identity of an important political figure – Andrew J. Peters, her “Uncle Andy” – who abused her since she was eleven. And drugged and raped her on her twenty-first birthday.
Seeking answers and eliminating suspects, Joe confronts Vannie Higgins, a mobster and loan shark he’s broken bones for. Was Vannie blackmailing Peters; and killed Starr while forcing the goods on Peters out of her? But Higgins shocks him – he got the story on Peters from Starr’s father! By way of payment of a loan. When Vannie’s hoods come after Joe, Starr roars to the rescue in Joe’s Stutz Bearcat. They escape in a blaze of gunfire.
Joe rules out Peters, a monster but not a murderer. He forces Peters to give him the rest of the story. Exposing Starr’s parents as cunning blackmailers, who exploited their daughter’s suffering to enrich themselves.
For Joe, it’s a journey of conflicts. Despite the bond of affection growing between them, there are times when he doubts Starr and doubts himself. He’s still unsure whether she was murdered or committed suicide. The conflict escalates when Joe’s forced to kill his best friend Pat, who’s been tainted by corruption and was ordered by Peters to kill him.
Starr rewards Joe with a final clue. She provides him with the murderer. A sad and lonely nobody. A lowly cab driver. He came across Starr when she was in a confused and distressed state. And not really knowing what he was doing, abducted her. Then panicked, believing she’d died from injuries sustained when she tried to jump from his cab. Conveyed her to the lonely beach and left her there, helpless, to drown in shallow water.
Joe’s mission is complete. He delivers the story on Peters and Starr’s parents to the newspapers. The killer’s identity never really mattered. This was about Starr’s revenge on those who abused and exploited her. And redemption. Joe gets his whole face back. And Starr a second chance at life. They fall into bed ….

Submitted: January 21, 2023
Last Updated: March 4, 2023

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The Writer: Dan Leissner

I'm an American citizen living in the U.K. An Editor in Law publishing before going freelance as a copy editor. Until I had the profound learning and life-changing experience of a mental breakdown (Nature's way of telling you to get a new outlook on life). Now retired, I volunteer for the mental health charity Mind. Also, since the start of the Covid pandemic, providing support for vulnerable people living locally. I'm the author of "Tuesday's Child: The Life And Death of Imogen Hassall", the biography of the actress and "Face" of the 1960's and 70's, who took her own life in 1980; the "pulp fiction" action-adventure novels "Cool Cat"; "Hell On Route 666: Cool Cat 2"; "Born To Be Bad: Cool... Go to bio

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