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.
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.
This report prepared by Daniel Staebler