Update 19: On to Chapter 8. "In the short time they did spend together, Higgins came away unimpressed with Cuadra. "He is a male prostitute, and he comes across as soft, by the way he speaks and his mannerisms, but I can see right through that," Higgins said. ... "He acts like that to get people to do what he wants, to manipulate people."
The footnote indicates the source of this observation is "Higgins interview with AES" making this a new fact revealed in the book, and a quite interesting one coming from someone who's entire professional career is based on making these sorts of profiling character observations.
Update 18: Chapter 7: "...Kocis approached his friend Samuel Hall, a Milwalkee-based entertainment lawyer who had befriended Kocis earlier in 2005."
What's interesting to me about this is that this I think the first time I've heard of this guy (or maybe I did, but can't remember?).
In any case, what we get in this section is some very interesting details from Mr. Hall about the Cobra settlement. And not just the terms of the settlement, but the state of mind of the parties before, during and right after the settlement talks in Vegas.
I notice the source for all this is the Cuadra Trial Transcript, so, I gather Hall was called as a witness, and was asked about all this by either the prosecution or the defense.
The Le Cirque dinner is covered at the end of the chapter as well. The only detail I think should have been included was the phone conversation between Joe and Grant, after Vegas but before the murder, with Joe once again nagging to begin filming, and Grant telling them they still weren't ready yet due to the recently signed settlement.
I'm trying to remember the exact details of this call, and what date it took place (it's probably written on my blog here, but it'll take a while to dig up), but as I recall it was triggered in part due to the premature announcement on Boybatter of a new partnership with Brent Corrigan , etc etc etc. which Grant was not pleased with.
It is my belief that it was this phone call that was the final trigger in the decision by Harlow and Joe to murder Bryan Kocis.
[Edit: I found it!
"On the morning of Tuesday, January 16, Joe and Harlow called Sean, angry that Sean had not posted an announcement of their plans on his blog. Grant was furious at their impatience. “I’m in the middle of the settlement, and I had gone to great lengths to explain our situation, and they’re all pissed off because we don’t have a blog post on? Who the fuck do they think they are? I called them and said, ‘We’ve got a lot to do. You’re calling Sean and harassing him.’ Joe starts getting angry with me, saying wild things, threatening me that if we don’t ‘put up a post,’ the deal is off. I said, ‘If you don’t understand us, leave us the fuck alone.’ And I told Sean, ‘Screw those guys. Don’t talk to them anymore.’ That was it.”"]
Update 17: I just finished up Chapter 6, which is an *excellent* synopsis of what went down at the Crab Catcher and on Black's Beach. A really fine job in describing how Harlow and Joe for all intents and purposes confessed to murder on tape, the audience at this point now knows the police investigation has run it's course, and it's only a matter of time before the jaws of the trap snap shut...and they swoop in for the arrest! The anticipation is palpable, how will it go down? This missed them once during the SWAT raid, will Harlow and Joe manage to wriggle away again? Will there be violence or bloodshed? The reader eagerly turns the page to Chapter 7...
...And begins to read more of the past history of Sean Lockhart.
This is, I think, the biggest problem with the book, one that Will has remarked on already, and many book reviewers have noted as well, and that is the unfortunate over-tendency to of the book to tell the story in a non-chronological fashion. With this transition from Chapter 6 to 7 being the most jarring example of this. In fact, 7 goes on to simply repeat much of what's already been covered in Chapter 3 (although in greater detail).
Now, I don't know if any plans are in the works for a 2nd edition, but if there are, I think an untangling of the various sections and chapters would be a worthwhile endeavor. I have had some months to ponder this problem, and for it's worth, I throw my ideas out for fixing here. They are suggestions, obviously, so take from them what you will (if anything):
Chapter 1: The murder scene, unchanged from the book.
Chapter 2: Life of Kocis, which would be the current Chapter 2, plus much of current Chapter 3 dealing with the history of Cobra Video all the way until Bryan sees Sean on webcam for the very first time, then STOP.
Chapter 3: Life of Sean, childhood through meeting Kocis (where Ch 2 stopped), then continuing on with much of what's in Chapters 3 and 7 (the Cobra Wars), all the way to the climactic settlement signing in Vegas, then STOP. "But there was another fateful meeting Sean and Grant had scheduled during that weekend in Las Vegas, at the world famous Le Cirque in the Bellagio Hotel..."
Chapter 4: Life of Harlow and Joe, the rise and fall of their empire, all the way to the Le Cirque dinner, then STOP. We are now caught up to where we left off in 3, AND we have now introduced all the main characters, so, no more backtracking! It's all forward narrative from this chapter and onwards!
Chapter 5: Harlow and Joe do the murder (ie, current Chapter 5).
Chapter 6: Shock and Awe in San Diego (current Chapter 6) etc etc etc, except now we can dispense entirely with the current Chapter 7 (which was merged into 3 and 4). So, the current Chapter 8 becomes 7, and so on and so forth!
So, FWIW, that's my fix suggestion. We only time-shift 3 times (in the first three chapters), and that out of necessity when each new major character groups are introduced. From Chapter 4 and onwards we are full speed ahead.