Lee Earle "James" Ellroy was born in Los Angeles in 1948. A master of noir crime fiction, James has up close and personal knowledge of the world of crime. His life has been shadowed by a gruesome event: the unsolved murder of his mother when he was a child. Her killer was never apprehended.
Haunted by his mother's death, Ellroy served time in jail but, after a troubled thirty years of homelessness, alcoholism, drug abuse, petty crime, and a period of insanity, Ellroy eventually found steady work caddying at Los Angeles country clubs and joined AA.
In 1985 he began The Black Dahlia, a novel he dedicated to his mother. Four of his novels: The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential and White Jazz are collectively known as the L.A. Quartet. His novels American Tabloid, The Cold Six Thousand, and Blood's A Rover form the Underworld U.S.A. Trilogy.
American Tabloid and his memoir, My Dark Places, were both named as Time magazine's Best Book of the Year, respectively.
The Hound's picks
We are behind, and below, the scenes of JFK's presidential election, the Bay of Pigs, the assassination--in the underworld that connects Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, D.C. . . .
Where the CIA, the Mob, J. Edgar Hoover, Howard Hughes, Jimmy Hoffa, Cuban political exiles, and various loose cannons conspire in a covert anarchy . . .
Where the right drugs, the right amount of cash, the right murder, buys a moment of a man's loyalty . . .
Where three renegade law-enforcement officers--a former L.A. cop and two FBI agents--are shaping events with the virulence of their greed and hatred, riding full-blast shotgun into history. . . .
James Ellroy's trademark nothing-spared rendering of reality, blistering language, and relentless narrative pace are here in electrifying abundance, put to work in a novel as shocking and daring as anything he's written: a secret history that zeroes in on a time still shrouded in secrets and blows it wide open.
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.
"Ellroy writes as if driven by demons. His brutal, staccato graffiti tips over into art"
"Empty of any unessentials and full of wise-cracking wit"
Mail on Sunday