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James Ellroy Message Board 1/17/2007 7:34:34 PM
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Author Ellroy's Book Reviews

American Tabloid
AMERICAN TABLOID, the first part of the Underworld U.S.A. trilogy has been published in 1995. Ellroy alternates three different points of view describing the 1958-1962 period. There's Kemper Boyd's, a FBI agent sent by Edgar G. Hoover into the Kennedy's family circle in order to get informations about the intentions of John and Robert Kennedy. Kemper Boyd becomes a fervent admirer of the new President and has some difficulties to reconcile his task fo...
Because the Night
In the second part of the Lloyd Hopkins trilogy, a year has passed since the events in BLOOD ON THE MOON. Two events precipitate the new case: the cold-blooded shooting of three people in a liquor store, and the disappearance of Jack Herzog, a 13-year veteran of the LAPD who is a master of disguise. Hopkins's nemesis in this book is John Havilland -- "Dr. John the Night Tripper" -- a brilliant psychiatrist with a tortured past who manipulates his patient...
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 ...
Brown's Requiem
Fritz Brown, a burned-out ex-LA cop, makes ends meet by doing car repo's. His "private detective agency" is little more than a tax shelter. When a fat and obnoxious golf caddy who carries a surprising amount of cash hires Brown to investigate his beautiful cello-playing sister's relationship with a wealthy Jewish furrier (an apparent sugar daddy), Brown gradually finds himself mucking through family secrets, Mexican pornography, police corruption, and an...

Ellroy booklist

Clandestine
Officer Freddy Underhill is 26, working out of the LAPD's Wilshire station, and chasing women in 1951 when he and his partner discover the mutilated and strangled corpse of a young secretary. The trail leads to other murders, new and old, and a beautiful crippled district attorney named Lorna Weinberg. Several familiar themes from Ellroy's other early novels (such as golf) and the majestic LA Quartet (sadistic detective Lt. Dudley Smith, his obsession wi...
Dick Contino's Blues
DICK CONTINO'S BLUES is a novel published by James Ellroy in 1994. A few months in the life of Dick Contino, an italian accordionist, trying to survive in the show business. After a good start when he was 19 years old, he lost the audience's support when he behaved cowardly during the Korean War. Now, in 1958, people still remember his attitude but Dick does have the opportunity to play the main character of DADDY'HO, a cheap Z production of a jewish ...
Killer on the Road
Growing up in Los Angeles in the 1950s and 1960s, orphaned Martin Plunkett perfects his skills at burglary and voyeurism (and also has a brush with Manson's "family") before doing a year in prison for breaking and entering. He moves to San Francisco, commits his first double murder there in 1974, and then is off on a spree across the western states, killing roughly 40 people before running afoul of a Wisconsin State Police sergeant named Ross Anderson in...
L.A. Confidential
In the third part of his masterful LA quartet, Ellroy opens up the canvas even wider. The time window of the story is Christmas 1951 to April 1958 in Los Angeles, although there's a 1950 prologue and much prehistory. The book has three LAPD protagonists: quick-fisted enforcer Bud White, who especially hates wife beaters; Narcotics sergeant Jack Vincennes, recovering from substance abuse himself and given to feeding breaking stories to the local tabloid p...
My Dark Places
MY DARK PLACES is a book published by James Ellroy in 1996. James Ellroy's mother was strangled to death in Los Angeles in 1958. Her murderer was never found. James Ellroy, who was 10 years old then, lived with his father during the following years. He was 17 when his father died. James Ellroy experienced, on a non-stop basis, drugs, alcohol and prison for robbery on the next 10 years until the day, suffering from delirium, he's hospitalized in an ...
Suicide Hill
In the third and final Lloyd Hopkins novel, our hero senses the LA police department (especially his departmental enemy, Captain Fred Gaffaney, head of Internal Affairs) is pushing him toward early retirement for his reckless ways. Duane Rice, newly freed from prison from a grand theft auto sentence, has both overheard and concocted a plan to blackmail a couple of bankers by holding their mistresses for ransom, and hires the brothers Bobby and Joe Garcia...

James Ellroy list of books

The Big Nowhere
The second in Ellroy's LA quartet takes place in 1950 and opens up a much broader canvas than the first -- the already-complex _The Black Dahlia_. There are three hero-protagonists, several villains, and a panoply of oddballs between them, including such real historic personages as Howard Hughes and Mickey Cohen. Detective Danny Upshaw is an up-and-comer with the LA Sheriff's West Hollywood substation, assigned a sex murder case with a male corpse appare...
The Black Dahlia
Young ambitious cop Bucky Bleichert becomes drawn into the horrific torture-mutilation-murder of promiscuous aspiring Hollywood starlet Elizabeth Short, the "Black Dahlia" of the title. As his obsession intensifies, Bleichert becomes as brutal and immoral as the criminals he fights, but despite having lost almost everything, he does solve the baffling case by himself....
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, ...
White Jazz
WHITE JAZZ is a book written by James Ellroy in 1992. The novel concludes the L.A. QUARTET. Dave Klein remembers. He was a lieutenant in the Los Angeles Police Department during the fifties. He was the witness of the efforts of Welles Noonan, a politician who wanted to clean up the Southern part of Los Angeles, territory of Mickey Cohen, the jazz joints, the black people and the Kafesjian, an armenian family dealing with drugs but protected by the pol...


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