Los Angeles, 1950. Red crosscurrents: the commie scare and a string of brutal mutilation killings. Gangland intrigue and Hollywood sleaze. Three cops caught in a hellish web of ambition, perversion, and deceit.
Danny Upshaw is a sheriff's deputy stuck with a bunch of snuffs nobody cares about; they're his chance to make his name as a cop...and to sate his darkest curiosities. Mal Considine is DA's bureau brass. He's climbing on the Red Scare bandwagon to advance his career and to gain custody of his adopted son, a child he saved from the horror of postwar Europe. Buzz Meeks - bagman, ex-narco goon, and pimp for Howard Hughes - is fighting communism for the money. All three men have purchased tickets to a nightmare.
©1988 James Ellroy (P)2015 Hachette Audio
I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^
“It all came down to money - the great equalizer and common denominator.”
― James Ellroy, The Big Nowhere
Probably 4.5 stars. I'm leaving room, saving stars, minding the gap, because I KNOW this isn't Elroy's best. Still, it is a novel that if written by any other living crime writer it might be considered their masterpiece and this is only 2nd shelf Ellroy. Chew on that. This is the 2nd book in Ellroy's LA Quartet Series (Starts with The Black Dahlia and includes this, L.A. Confidential, and White Jazz). It really has all you want out of LA Noir. Hollywood, homosexuals, drugs, jazz, sex, the Mob, crooked cops, etc. The plot is near perfect and the characters are BETTER than the plot, in my book.
James Ellroy does for crime thrillers what John le Carré does for spy thrillers. They both have made their own corner of genre fiction literary. Both will be read in 400 years as future academics and fans try to tease out how exactly how f'ed-up the 20th century really was.
Unnecessarily gruesome. Lazy ending. At one point I laughed out loud at how completely ridiculous the story was. But - I couldn't stop listening.
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