After a slow start things pick up as Henry Scudder starts going over the edge. This is a good read about guilt leading to paranoia.
Henry Scudder is from a rich family back East. He likes to go to the Pacifico Hotel in a beach town near L.A. When he returns he takes a bus to the hotel. At the station he met a girl named Faith and takes her with him. Henry’s wife died of pneumonia and their baby died at birth. He thinks there’s some force that’s trying to destroy him. Why else would he meet a girl named Faith who knew his dead wife’s birth date?
The next morning he wakes up and she’s in the adjoining dressing room…..strangled. Millie the maid comes in to straighten up. She tells Henry it’s her last day. She’s got a job as a waitress to please her jealous and abusive husband. She doesn’t discover the body.
Now in walks screenwriter Arthur Munger. He says some woman came up to him while he was near the beach and told him Henry was back in town. He didn’t recognize her. The woman is Marion Patton. Her husband owns an auto center where he sells cars and repairs and stores them. Henry’s car is stored there. She has a huge crush on Henry but he doesn’t know it
Henry is having it on with married movie star Roxanne Crockett. Henry also has some other movie friends. One of them saw him at the bus station talking with Faith. He doesn’t know which one.
A mother and daughter who travel together buy a home in the area. The daughter is wondering where her friend Faith is. She was supposed to meet them that day. They get involved with Henry’s movie star friends. During an afternoon gathering the daughter starts wondering aloud about her friend Faith.
All this time Faith’s body is still in the dressing room. Henry is trying to figure out how to remove it. As things move along he’s getting more paranoid. He thinks everyone is against him and plotting his downfall.