Open City, Closed Set is a comic thriller set in Hollywood during World War II and follows Roberto Balio, an Italian spy sent to the California coast to investigate his predecessor’s disappearance.
Roberto, a charming, handsome man with an innate ability to be trusted, becomes mesmerized by the bright lights of Hollywood, the allure of its beautiful women, and the promise of fame and fortune. When his Nazi superior enlists him in a diabolical plan that will “cripple the American soul,” Roberto must choose between his duty, the strong-willed woman he loves, and his own dreams of stardom.
Brimming with humor and an oddball cast of characters, this unique novel shines a spotlight on Hollywood’s golden age and a lonely man seduced by the American Dream.
M.F. McDowell received an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and a BFA in Film and Television from UCLA. He wrote and co-directed the underground cult feature film, Sheila and the Brainstem and spends his time between British Columbia and Los Angeles. To hear more stories from M.F. check out his YouTube series, 52 at 52.