Brando Mahr lost his mind when an artillery shell exploded close by. Upon returning to some form of consciousness, he found himself aphasiac and epileptic. He escaped from the hospital and found menial work in the basement of the UCLA library, where he re-learned language, unfortunately by reading mostly 18th century English penny dreadnaughts. Since the language has shifted somewhat in 200 plus years, the author has channeled the spirit of one of Brando’s favorite writers from the 1700s to act as translator and sometimes commentator.
Several years into his comeback finds Brando struggling on the lower rungs of Hollywood as a minor film producer and director. When his good friend Kieth Lagosi introduces him to football ex-great Ripper Brown, Brando sets out to develop Ripper’s life story into a bio-pic dramatizing the player’s glorious deeds. But Ripper has had a troubled past, and someone doesn’t want his story told…and Brando’s own difficulties begin to mount.
When Rippers gorgeous blond wife is murdered, Brando is blamed by Ripper’s friends and hauled in for a brutal interrogation by the Los Angeles police. It is clear that those Brando irritated in attempting to tell Ripper’s story have turned against him…not one, but two sets of accomplished and deadly killers. Can Brando clear himself of the charge of murder? And, if he does, can he find the true killers and uncover why why these foul and cold-blooded killers will go to any lengths to keep their secrets hidden?