Jake Dekker

Created by Stanley Ellin

Stanley Ellin seems to have cornered the market on cold, calculating and thoroughly professional private detectives serving the rich and powerful of New York, although for while there it seemed Lawrence Sanders was intent on horning in on the action. JAKE DEKKER is a freelance insurance investigator who lives high on the hog. He’s a member of the veddy, veddy prestigious Watrous Associates, located at Madison and 60th.

Dekker appeared in only one novel, 1970’s dark and tense The Bind, which became, through the usual twisted, everyone-must-be-on-drugs Hollywood logic, a frothy, sunlight-flecked farce called Sunburn starring Charles Grodin, Farrah Fawcett and her hair. In the film, Fawcett-Majors masquerades as insurance investigator Grodin’s wife, to crack a murder/suicide fraud in sunny Acapulco. Even Art Carney as another gumshoe can’t save this poorly conceived piece of crap.

Although best known for his short fiction, Ellin also created two other big shot, hot stuff N.Y. P.I.s, Murray Kirk , who appeared in the Edgar-winning The Eighth Circle, and John Milano, who appeared in two novels.


  • “Farrah plays a giggly, blonde model who helps an insurance investigator investigate a suspicious death in Acapulco. Dave Brandstetter, this guy is not. It’s mostly about Farrah and her bathing suits, and whenever I want to feel better about being blonde and giggly, I watch this. Because life is all about choices.”
    — Diana Killian on Sunburn



  • SUNBURN | Buy this video
    (1979, Paramount)
    94 minutes
    Based on the novel The Bind by Stanley Ellin
    Screenplay by James Booth, John Daly and Stephen Oliver
    Directed by Richard C. Sarafian
    Original music by John Cameron, Graham Gouldman
    Original song: “You Bet Your Love”by Herbie Hancock
    Executive producer: Jay Bernstein
    Produced by John Daly and Gerald Green
    Starring Farrah Fawcett-Majors as Ellie
    and Charles Grodin as JAKE
    Also starring Art Carney, Joan Collins, William Daniels, John Hillerman, Eleanor Parker, Keenan Wynn, Mark Elmes, Robin Clarke, Joan Goodfellow, Jack Kruschen, Alejandro Rey, Jorge Luke, Seymour Cassel, Joanna Lehmann, Alex Sharp


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to Jim Doherty for the lead on Sunburn.

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