Paul Gurney is a struggling civilian clerk working the desk at a major New York homicide precinct who runs a department newsletter, The Homicider, that covers the goings-on at the precinct, dispenses advice, and disseminates interoffice gossip. But Gurney is newly divorced and dissatisfied, and abruptly decides to retire from the force, not knowing exactly what he'll do next. When he meets a shady Broadway impresario who wants to create a stage musical from his newsletter, he soon finds himself plunging headlong into the world of actors, agents, singers, songwriters, hacks, hams, and con artists. As the show Violencia! moves from rounds of financing from suspect sources to questionable casting calls to a disastrous out-of-town opening (at each stage getting progressively - and hilariously - worse and worse), Gurney enjoys the high living, romantic flings, and glamour of the entertainment industry. But he also comes to realize that show people aren't that different from other people he already knows: the thugs, lowlifes, and cutthroats he's encountered during his career on the homicide squad.
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