by James EllroyProduct Details

A 700-page book is ordinarily way too much for me to try to take on, but a patron told me that this one would be worth the effort.

He was right.

James Ellroy is a master at plot and character development, and he paces this book in such a way that you stay hooked all the way through.

Ellroy's style reminds me of Cormac McCarthy, but, unlike McCarthy, Ellison's prose is accessible. Almost every sentence is noun-verb-direct-object in form, which is distracting at first.

The story itself is fascinating and centers on the intrigue inside the police department in a Los Angeles gripped by fear in the days and weeks following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Imagine the chaos, and imagine the kinds of criminal activity that feed on chaos.

I know nothing about how Californians reacted to the attack and subsequent call for rounding up American Japanese failies, but Ellory's accounts certainly make sense, if "sense" is the right word.

I understand that this is the first in a series for Ellory. I will be watching for the sequel(s).

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