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Publisher's Summary

Summer, 1968. Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy are dead. The assassination conspiracies have begun to unravel. A dirty-tricks squad is getting ready to deploy at the Democratic Convention in Chicago. Black militants are warring in southside L.A. The Feds are concocting draconian countermeasures. And fate has placed three men at the vortex of History.

Dwight Holly is J. Edgar Hoover's pet strong-arm goon, implementing Hoover's racist designs and obsessed with a leftist shadow figure named Joan Rosen Klein. Wayne Tedrow - ex-cop and heroin runner - is building a mob gambling mecca in the Dominican Republic and quickly becoming radicalized. Don Crutchfield is a window-peeping kid private-eye within tantalizing reach of right-wing assassins, left-wing revolutionaries and the powermongers of an incendiary era. Their lives collide in pursuit of the Red Goddess Joan - and each of them will pay "a dear and savage price to live History."

Political noir as only James Ellroy can write it - our recent past razed and fully reconstructed - Blood's A Rover is a novel of astonishing depth and scope, a massive tale of corruption and retribution, of ideals at war and the extremity of love. It is the largest and greatest work of fiction from an American master.

©2009 James Ellroy; (P)2009 Random House

Critic Reviews

"Ellroy concludes the scorching trilogy begun with 1995's American Tabloid with a crushing bravura performance. As ever, his sentences are gems of concision.... It's impossible not to read Blood's A Rover with a sense of awe . . . It's a stunning and crazy book that could only have been written by the premier lunatic of American letters." (Publishers Weekly)
"Ellroy calls this third leg of 'The Underworld USA Trilogy' an historical romance, but it's also very much a gangster novel, a political novel, a tragic-comedy, a poignant love story - and remarkably entertaining no matter how you slice it.... You won't easily put it down." (Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

An all-around masterpiece

LA Confidential and the Black Dahlia had long ago made me a James Ellroy movie fan. This book made me an Ellroy literature fan, and I have now gone back and listened to his other recorded books. The movies, as good as they are, can't do his writing justice. A unique, compelling voice meets an unbounded imagination. No wonder Michael Connelly finds ways to pay homage to Ellroy in his books. And Craig Wasson's reading is a spot-on, magnificent rendering of myriad characters. The entire production is a masterpiece.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


Magnificent. Brings Cold Six Thousand to a proper conclusion. Ellroy loves Beethoven, but this is Mahler. It is certainly not for everyone, but for those it is for... wow.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Ellroy is a magician

The Cold Six Thousand was killer good. This is even better. The man doesn't just write, he's like a dog who bites you and then the whole world changes. You'll see.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Superb narration

Craig Wasson once again superbly narrates James Ellroy. A perfect match of narrator to writer's style. And Ellroy's trilogy -- American Tabloid, Cold Six Thousand, and now Bloods A Rover -- in its wonderfully twisted fiction, is probably the closest to the "truth" we are going to get of American political history 1950 to mid-'70s. Certainly resonates in the current environment.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


An enthralling read-not for the queasy, or easily shocked. I've enjoyed all of Ellroy's period thrillers, and he's out done himself this time. The only criticism I have is that you'll find yourself rewinding to listen to certain parts again- there's so much information. Craig Wasson did an excellent job with the different accents and sexes.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Just Perfect!

Where does Blood's a Rover rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best. Densely plotted and vast in scope. I love all of the author's work. Although the LA Quartet is always going to be my favorite, I think that this book is his masterpiece. <br/><br/>Having heard the author read before I can tell you that Craig Wasson captures Ellroy's style perfectly. And that's good because it is a long ride. Worth every second.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Not your mother or father's history.

"You will read with some reluctance and capitulate in the end. The following pages will force you to succumb. I am going to tell you everything.”
― James Ellroy, Blood's a Rover

This is how the 60s ends, this is how the 60s ends, not with a bang, but a peeper. James Ellroy's Underworld trilogy was fantastic, but this was my least favorite of the three books. Looking back, I think they all were amazing, but this one just dragged a bit too far and wasn't as tight or stylized as his other two. But tied all together they create an amazing (and yes depressing) portrait of the corruption and conspiracies of the JFK (American Tabloid) assassination, Bobby Kennedy & MLK (The Cold Six Thousand) assassinations, and Hoover years. Filled with CIA agents, FBI agents, rogue cops, corrupt cops, black panthers, femme fatales, voodoo, Cuba, conspiracies, intrigue, etc., these books read like the back side of some warped people's history. This isn't your mother or father's history. This is the devil's diary, the assassin's journal, the sludge and the gout of history. It is the underbelly and the corruption. Sometimes you learn as much from the worm as the eagle. This book is the worm and it is brilliant. I'm sad it is over and sad this series will never again be a shock. Reading these books seems to be as close as you can come without ingesting methamphetamine of experiencing the chalk, crystal, and ice of those years of Camelot that weren't photographed in Life magazine. The prose and the dialogue seemed to drill into my brain as I read. It was relentless. I think about the prose and the narrative and I wonder about how any writer could emerge from birthing this series without scars, wounds, and serious therapy debt. I'm glad Ellroy paid the price that we might experience this work of art.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

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loved it. could stand alone s it's own novel, but best read in the trilogy.

not as good as American Tabloid; far better than the Child Six Thousand.

easy to get lost in his slangy dialogue and large cast of characters, many who spear in other Ellroy novels.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Chilling sequel to COLD SIX THOUSAND

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Cold 6000 was one of the best books I have come across. It tells the most believable recounting of the time from JFKs death to Bobby's. BLOODs a ROVER picks up the story line where the other left off. Same grizzly, helter skelter action. An insiders telling of history, the under-belly view. Same writing style, nearly poetic at times, assault rifle delivery. Very coarse, racist, REAL. But really, if you havent read COLD SIX THOUSAND, better start at the beginning, if you are ready for a new readers addiction. (Not for the feint at heart.)

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?


Have you listened to any of Craig Wasson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

COLD SIX THOUSAND. He gives a poets touch to the darkest evil.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?


Any additional comments?

I prefer the audiobook to actual reading, it permits multitasking, and the reader gives the text a flashing gashing splash of color beyond what my imagination would provide.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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too much to handle

What would have made Blood's a Rover better?

The bombardment of slang is too much if you are not familiar with these terms. It might be a better book to read so you have time to absorb and analyze what was just said, but in this form it is just too much for me to follow without getting a headache.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The manipulation of our lives and politics that this story develops is just too far out to be believable unless you subscribe to conspiracy theorists.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful