The Cold Six Thousand Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Cold Six Thousand

Ellroy alternates three different points of view describing the 1963-1968 period, from the assassination of JFK until Robert Kennedy's murder. Firstly, there's Pete Bondurant's, a Canadian hitman working for the mob. Pete, with the help of the C.I.A., will organize a flourishing heroin traffic between the Vietnam and Las Vegas. The profits are used to buy rifles and guns for anticastro groups who are about to disembark in Cuba. Pete will also blackmail, for the mob, several Vegas politicians.
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Then, there is Ward Littell's, a lawyer working for the mob, Howard Hughes and Edgar J. Hoover altogether. Ward secretly admires Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy and tries to protect them from the F.B.I. intrigues and the mob. Ward is also the man who works out a deal between the billionaire Howard Hughes who wants to buy all the Vegas casinos and the U.S. mafia.

The third point of view is Wayne Tedrow's, an ex-chemist and Vegas cop whose wife has been raped and killed by Wendell Durfee, a black criminal. Tedrow is working now with Pete Bondurant for whom he synthesizes heroin in Saigon. He will also patronize the KKK subgroups in the deep South and feel the hate that will lead to Martin Luther King's assassination.

The review of this Book prepared by Daniel Staebler

Chapter Analysis of The Cold Six Thousand

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   very upbeat Time/era of story:    -   1960's-1970's The crook is....    -   stalking/killing innocents Crime Thriller    -   Yes Is MAIN CHARACTER an EVIL criminal?    -   Yes General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes Who's the criminal enemy here?    -   militia/racists

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   a lawyer creature Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   West Asia/Pacific    -   Yes Asian country:    -   Southeast Asia City?    -   Yes City:    -   Los Angeles    -   dangerous Misc setting    -   scientific labs

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:    -   actual description of sex    -   descript. of male nudity Unusual forms of death    -   perforation--bullets Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   little dialog

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James Ellroy Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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