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L.A. Confidential

Ellroy, James

27,678 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0892962933 / ISBN 13: 9780892962938
Published by Mysterious Press, New York, 1990
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From Steven G. Jennings (Spring Branch, TX, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Inscribed by Ellroy on the half-title page: "To ____, Slash City Beckons! James Ellroy." Dj protected in archival-quality mylar. Bookseller Inventory # 003368

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Bibliographic Details

Title: L.A. Confidential

Publisher: Mysterious Press, New York

Publication Date: 1990

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Printing

About this title

Synopsis:

L.A. Confidential is epic "noir", a crime novel of astonishing detail and scope written by the bestselling author of The Black Dahlia. A horrific mass murder invades the lives of victims and victimizers on both sides of the law. And three lawmen are caught in a deadly spiral, a nightmare that tests loyalty and courage, and offers no mercy, grants no survivors.

Review:

James Ellroy's L.A. Confidential is film-noir crime fiction akin to Chinatown, Hollywood Babylon, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and Jim Thompson. It's about three tortured souls in the 1950s L.A.P.D.: Ed Exley, the clean-cut cop who lives shivering in the shadow of his dad, a legendary cop in the same department; Jack Vincennes, a cop who advises a Police Squad- like TV show and busts movie stars for payoffs from sleazy Hush-Hush magazine; and Bud White, a detective haunted by the sight of his dad murdering his mom.

Ellroy himself was traumatized as a boy by his party-animal mother's murder. (See his memoir My Dark Places for the whole sordid story.) So it is clear that Bud is partly autobiographical. But Exley, whose shiny reputation conceals a dark secret, and Vincennes, who goes showbiz with a vengeance, reflect parts of Ellroy, too.

L.A. Confidential holds enough plots for two or three books: the cops chase stolen gangland heroin through a landscape littered with not-always-innocent corpses while succumbing to sexy sirens who have been surgically resculpted to resemble movie stars; a vile developer--based (unfairly) on Walt Disney-- schemes to make big bucks off Moochie Mouse; and the cops compete with the crooks to see who can be more corrupt and violent. Ellroy's hardboiled prose is so compressed that some of his rat-a-tat paragraphs are hard to follow. You have to read with attention as intense as his—and that is very intense indeed. But he richly rewards the effort. He may not be as deep and literary as Chandler, but he belongs on the same top-level shelf.

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