Blood on the Moon Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Blood on the Moon

In 1964, a high school senior is beaten and raped by two of his bully classmates, and a 23-year-old National Guard private is called out to quell the Watts riots and ends up shooting a rogue cop. Eighteen years later, in 1982, their lives intersect: one has become a serial killer of young women and the other a career detective with the LAPD. This is the first of three Lloyd Hopkins novels from early in Ellroy's career: Hopkins is a womanizing cop with a fabulous intuition and the record-breaking arrest record that goes with it, but his wife and three daughters move out as he becomes obsessed with finding the "Poet" who has killed and mutilated nearly two dozen women over two decades. The plot is a little pat, the villain's motivations strain credulity, and he AND the hero are too perfect, but most of the characterizations and interactions -- particularly between Hopkins and the various women in his life -- are strong, and as always, Ellroy concocts an irresistable plot.
Click here to see the rest of this review

The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

BLOOD ON THE MOON is the third novel of James Ellroy and has been published in 1984.

First book of the Lloyd Hopkins trilogy that established Ellroy as a first class writer, BLOOD ON THE MOON is the story of the encounter between Hopkins and a serial killer who has murdered dozens of young women in the Los Angeles area during a 20 years period.

Lloyd Hopkins is so good at analyzing the motivations of the killers researched by the L.A.P.D. that he has been given a great liberty in his work. He has a personal office and can count on Dutch Pelz, a friend and one of the big bosses of the L.A. police.

Lloyd soon forgets his wife and his three little girls and spends his whole time trying to figure out the next moves of the "Poet". BLOOD ON THE MOON is fascinating and was one of the first thrillers presenting a psychotic serial killer.

A must.
The review of this Book prepared by Daniel Staebler

Chapter Analysis of Blood on the Moon

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

How difficult to spot villain?    -   Story partially from villain's perspective Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Special suspect?    -   chronically deranged person Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   character killed during/after sexing Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards family/friends Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   20's-30's    -   40's-50's


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   California City?    -   Yes City:    -   Los Angeles    -   Dirty, dangerous (like New York)    -   dangerous

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   very gorey references to deaths/dead bodies and torture Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   descript of kissing    -   touching of anatomy    -   orgies    -   lesbians!    -   actual description of sex    -   descript. of breasts    -   descript. of other female areas    -   descript. of male nudity    -   homosexuals doing their thing    -   rape (yeech!) Unusual forms of death    -   asphyxiation    -   poisoning    -   dropped from large heights    -   diced    -   decapitated    -   perforation--bullets    -   perforation--swords/knives    -   blunt clubbing (like seals) Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Blood on the Moon

James Ellroy Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian