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Publisher's Summary

Three citizens are butchered during a liquor store holdup. An unstable veteran cop vanishes without a trace. Nothing connects these events except for a nagging hunch in the back of Detective Sergeant Lloyd Hopkins' brain--a sinister foreboding that will lead him through the sin-and-sleaze playground of nighttime L.A. on the trail of a psycho psychiatrist with a talent for terror and mind-control. His gore-soaked journey through Hell will plunge this determined manhunter into the dark heart of madness--and beyond.

©1984 James Ellroy (P)2010 Audio Go

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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 08-18-18

A rough draft for better Noir that will come

"Guys with our kind of juice should f-up once in a while out of noblesse oblige."
- James Ellroy, Because the Night

Book 2 in Ellroy's L.A. Noir trilogy (or Lloyd Hopkins Trilogy). In this book Sgt Hopkins is trying to figure out a bizarre killing AND the disappearance of an exceptional undercover cop. It all leads to a Timothy Leary/Charles Manson mashup whose band of rich misfits isn't Ellroy's best. The psychiatrist trope appears better developed in later Ellroy novels. Like the previous book in the series, this book seems like a rough draft for better Noir that will come in his next series. Ellroy is growing, but it is difficult to call this book a finished product at this point. Ellroy, at this stage, hasn't learned that the crazier the characters, the more believable the premise has to be.