The first novel in Ellroy's extraordinary Underworld USA Trilogy as featured on BBC Radio 4's A Good Read.
1958. America is about to emerge into a bright new age - an age that will last until the 1000 days of John F Kennedy's presidency.
Three men move beneath the glossy surface of power, men allied to the makers and shakers of the era. Pete Bondurant - Howard Hughes's right-hand man, Jimmy Hoffa's hitman. Kemper Boyd - employed by J Edgar Hoover to infiltrate the Kennedy clan. Ward Littell - a man seeking redemption in Bobby Kennedy's drive against organised crime.
The festering discount of the age that burns brightly in these men's hearts will go into supernova as the Bay of Pigs ends in calamity, the Mob clamours for payback and the 1000 days ends in brutal quietus in 1963.
"Des écrivains comme ça, dans le roman noir, on en découvre un tous les dix ans." Michel Lebrun, le matin.
"Opéra noir, peuplé de fantômes, où le sexe et la mort rôdent sans cesse dans l'immensité inhumaine de los angeles la mal nommée, lune sanglante est un fulgurant joyau, une moderne tragédie, qui porte fièrement en exergue une citation du Richard II de Shakespeare." Bernard Audusse, Le Monde.
"... Un des plus remarquables romans noirs de la décennie, par sa préoccupation intellectuelle élevée, son écriture savante et, pour le dire balistiquement, son épouvantable puissance d'arrêt..." Jean-Patrick Manchette, Libération.
"... Violence sadique et psychologie se partagent les 288 pages d'un ouvrage qui marque un nouveau sommet du roman noir." Michel Renaud, Le Dauphiné.
Freddy is an ex-L.A. cop on the skids. He snuffed a cop killer in cold blood - and it got to him bad. Now he''s a sleazoid private eye, a shakedown artist, a pimp - and, most notably, the head strongarm goon for Confidential magazine. Welcome to the world of the malevolent monarch of the Hollywood underground - a tale of pervasive paranoia teeming with communist conspiracies, FBI finks, celebrity smut films and strange bedfellows.
Fred Otash, ex-flic ripoux et authentique maître chanteur traquait les stars de cinéma pour faire chanter les studios dans les années 50. Il était le pourvoyeur de ragots en chef du magazine à scandales Confidential. Ellroy en fait un personnage de fiction et l'imagine au purgatoire, torturé par ses anciennes victimes : Marilyn, Ava Gardner, Montgomery Clift... Pour bénéficier d'une « remise de peine », il devra rédiger ses confessions. Incapable de s'en sortir seul, il se fera aider d'un « plumitif » nommé James Ellroy...
________________________ 'Ellroy writes with raw power ... undeniably one of the most influential crime writers of our time' THE TIMES 'a tangled fever-dream ... Ellroy offers a grandiose, Wagnerian vision of wartime LA' SUNDAY TIMES ________________________ A brilliant historical crime novel, set in Los Angeles and Mexico during the pulse-pounding aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
January, '42. L.A. reels behind the shock of Pearl Harbor. Local Japanese are rounded up and slammed behind bars. Massive thunderstorms hit the city. A body is unearthed in Griffith Park.
The cops tag it a routine dead-man job. They're wrong. It's an early-warning signal of Chaos.
There's a murderous fire and a gold heist exploding out of the past. There's Fifth Column treason - at this moment, on American soil. There are homegrown Nazis, commies and race racketeers. There's two dead cops in a dive off the jazz-club strip. And three men and one woman have a hot date with History.
Elmer Jackson is a corrupt Vice cop. He's a flesh peddler and a bagman for the L.A. Chief of Police. Hideo Ashida is a crime-lab whiz, lashed by anti-Japanese rage. Dudley Smith is a PD hardnose working Army Intelligence. He's gone rogue and gone all-the-way fascist. Joan Conville was born rogue. She's a defrocked Navy lieutenant and a war profiteer to her core.
L.A., '42. Homefront madness ascendant. Early-wartime inferno - This Storm is James Ellroy's most audacious novel yet. It is by turns savage, tender, elegiac. It lays bare and celebrates crazed Americans of all stripes.
________________________ 'Epic crime writing from a master' DAILY MAIL 'Ellroy is unique. There is nobody writing this way ... Nobody has done or is doing what he is doing' BOOKMUNCH
The internationally acclaimed author of the L.A. Quartet and The Underworld USA Trilogy, James Ellroy, presents another literary noir masterpiece of historical paranoia . A rip-roaring, devilishly wild ride through the bloody end of the 1960's. It's dark baby, and hot hot hot. Martin Luther King assassinated. Robert Kennedy assassinated. Los Angeles, 1968. Conspiracies theories are taking hold. On the horizon looms the Democratic Convention in Chicago and constant gun fire peppers south L.A. Violence, greed, and grime, are replacing free-love and everybody from Howard Hughes, Richard Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover to the right-wing assassins and left-wing revolutionaries are getting dirty. At the center of it all is a triumvirate: the presidents strong-arm goon, an ex-cop and heroine runner, and a private eye whose quarry is so dangerous she could set off the whole powder keg. With his trademark deadly staccato prose, James Ellroy holds nothing back in this wild, startling and much anticipated conclusion to his Underworld USA trilogy.
America's greatest crime writer investigates his mother's murder. On 21 June 1958, Geneva Hilliker Ellroy left her home in California. She was found strangled the next day. Her ten year-old son James had been with her estranged husband all weekend and was informed of her death on his return. Her murderer was never found, but her death had an enduring effect on her son - he spent his teens and early adult years as a wino, petty burglar and derelict.
Only later, through his obsession with crime fiction, triggered by his mother's murder, did Ellroy begin to delve into his past. Shortly after the publication of his groundbreaking novel WHITE JAZZ, he determined to return to Los Angeles and, with the help of veteran detective Bill Stoner, attempt to solve the 38-year-old killing.
The result is one of the few classics of crime non-fiction and autobiography to appear in the last few decades; a hypnotic trip to America's underbelly and one man's tortured soul.
DALLAS, NOVEMBER 22ND, 1963.
Wayne Tedrow Jr has arrived to kill a man. The fee is $6,000. He finds himself instead in the middle of the cover-up following JFK's assassination. There follows a hellish five-year ride through the sordid underbelly of public policy via Las Vegas, Howard Hughes, Vietnam, CIA dope dealing, Cuba, sleazy showbiz, racism and the Klan.
This is the 1960s under Ellroy's blistering lens, the icons of the era mingled with cops, killers, hoods, and provocateurs. The Cold Six Thousand is historical confluence as American nightmare. Fierce, epic fiction. A masterpiece.
The Underworld U.S.A. Trilogy concludes. We've traversed the interlocked conspiracies of the decade and are there for the wind-up and swan songs. Blood's A Rover takes us into the seventies. MLK and RFK are dead. The Democratic National Convention in Chicago has spawned chaos. There's a punk-kid private eye in L.A. He's clashing with a mob goon and an enforcer for J. Edgar Hoover. There's an armored-car heist and a cache of missing emeralds. There's bad voodoo in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Amidst it all is a revolutionary, Joan Rosen Klein. The kid P.I., the mob goon, and Hoover's enforcer love her unto death. Blood's A Rover gives us the private nightmare of public policy on an epic scale.
"America was never innocent." Thus begins the Underworld U.S.A. Trilogy . It's James Ellroy's pop history of the 1960s, his window-peeper's view of government misconduct, his dirty trickster's take on the great events of an incendiary era. It's a tour de force of the American idiom, and an acknowledged masterpiece. American Tabloid gives us Jack Kennedy's ride, seen from an insider's perspective. We're there for the rigged 1960 election. We're there for the Bay of Pigs fiasco. We're the eyes and ears and souls of three rogue cops who've signed on for the ride and come to see Jack as their betrayer. We're Jack's pimps and hatchet men, and we're there for that baroque slaying in Dallas. The Cold Six Thousand takes us from Dallas to Vietnam to Memphis to the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in L.A. We're rubbing shoulders with RFK and MLK, calamitous klansmen, noted mafiosi. We're forced to relive the American sixties--and we come away breathless. The first two books of the Underworld U.S.A. Trilogy revisit the most anarchic decade in our history. They are defined by their brutal linguistic flair and reckless panache.
B>b>From the modern master of noir comes a novel based on the real-life Hollywood fixer Freddy Otash, the malevolent monarch of the 1950s L.A. underground, and his Tinseltown tabloid Confidential magazine./b>/b>br>br>Freddy Otash was the man in the know and the man to know in ''50s L.A. He was a rogue cop, a sleazoid private eye, a shakedown artist, a pimp--and, most notably, the head strong-arm goon for Confidential magazine. br>;br>Confidential presaged the idiot Internet--and delivered the dirt, the dish, the insidious ink, and the scurrilous skank. It mauled misanthropic movie stars, sex-soiled socialites, and putzo politicians. Mattress Jack Kennedy, James Dean, Montgomery Clift, Burt Lancaster, Liz Taylor, Rock Hudson--Frantic Freddy outed them all. He was the Tattle Tyrant who held Hollywood hostage, and now hes here to confess.br>;br>Im consumed with candor and wracked with recollection. Im revitalized and resurgent. My meshugenah march down memory lane begins NOW.br>;br>In Freddys viciously entertaining voice, Widespread Panic torches 1950s Hollywood to the ground. Its a blazing revelation of coruscating corruption, pervasive paranoia, and sin and redemption with nothing in between.br>;br>Here is James Ellroy in savage quintessence. Freddy Otash confesses--and you are here to read and succumb.br>;
From The Modern Master of Noir comes a novel about the malevolent monarch of the 1950s Hollywood underground - a tale of pervasive paranoia teeming with communist conspiracies, FBI finks, celebrity smut films and strange bedfellows. Freddy Otash is the man in the know and the man to know in ''50s L.A. He operates with two simple rules - he''ll do anything but commit murder and he''ll never work with the commies. Freddy is an ex-L.A. cop on the skids. He snuffed a cop killer in cold blood - and it got to him bad. So Chief William H. Parker canned him. Now he''s a sleazoid private eye, a shakedown artist, a pimp - and, most notably, the head strongarm goon for Confidential magazine. Confidential presaged the idiot internet - and delivered the dirt, the dish, the insidious ink and the scurrilous skank on the feckless foibles of misanthropic movie stars, sex-soiled socialites and potzo politicians. Freaky Freddy outs them all! In Widespread Panic , we traverse the depths of ''50s L.A. and dig on the inner workings of Confidential. You''ll go to Burt Lancaster''s lushly appointed torture den ... You''ll groove overhyped legend James Dean as Freddy''s chief stooge ... You''ll be there for Freddy''s ring-a-ding rendezvous with Liz Taylor ... You''ll be front and centre as Freddy anoints himself the ''Tattle Tyrant Who Held Hollywood Hostage''.
L.A. Summer ''62 Freddy Otash is on the skids: Confidential magazine is dead, his PI licence is no more and he''s wound up working for Eddie Fisher''s divorce lawyer. Never far from scandal, Freddy finds himself at Fox studios, entangled in the Liz Taylor and Tim Burton Cleopatra affair. Meanwhile, he''s hired by corrupt boss of the Teamsters'' union, Jimmy Hoffa, to get the dirt on President Jack Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe...
8th June ''62 The fateful night. Marilyn Monroe is missing from Peter Lawford''s party. He rushes to her place to find her. She''s in bed. She''s dead. Peter picks up the phone and calls - who else? - Freddy Otash.
''You should get down here, General. Marilyn Monroe''s dead.'' Caught up in the warped world of a movie studio in extremis, over privileged film stars, craven politicians, drug dealers and Hollywood parasites - Freddy is back, and he''s on a mission. But shadows of the dead are circling in, and when it all goes down - will he have solved the mystery of Marilyn''s last living days? One thing''s for sure - this case will have him chastened and changed, forever.
Dig it. A famous musician-cum-draft dodger is plotting the perfect celebrity snatch-his own. An ex-con raging on revenge in High Darktown becomes a cop's worst nightmare. While chasing kidnappers, two cops stumble on an okie town as bloody as the O.K. Corral. A strongarm for Howard Hughes and mobster Mickey Cohen finds himself playing both ends against the middle, all for a murderously magnificent moll. This is L.A., Ellroy style-corrupt cops, goons with guns, rattling roadsters-and all in the staccato rhythm of the streets. Hollywood Nocturnes shows us the seedy side of glamorous Hollywood, laid out like a corpse in the morgue.
Célèbre dans le monde entier, le roman culte de James Ellroy est enfin adapté en bande dessinée. Los Angeles Police Department, 1946. Dwight « Bucky » Bleichert fête son premier jour aux Mandats, le prestigieux service où rêvent de travailler la plupart des flics de la Cité des Anges. Il fera équipe avec Leland « Lee » Blanchard, un collègue qui comme lui a été boxeur, et qu'il a déjà affronté sur un ring. Malgré les nondits entre eux, les deux hommes sympathisent. Ils ne savent pas encore qu'ils vont enquêter ensemble sur un crime qui va à la fois les rapprocher et bouleverser leurs existences : la mort atroce d'une jeune femme, Elizabeth « Betty » Short, surnommée le Dahlia Noir, dont on retrouve le corps mutilé dans un terrain vague, en janvier 1947... Ainsi débute l'un des plus fameux romans noirs de la littérature américaine des dernières décennies, à la fois polar haletant et portrait saisissant de Los Angeles, dans toute sa fascination trouble : Le Dahlia noir, de James Elroy. C'est le plus francophile des dessinateurs américains, Miles Hyman, déjà auteur avec Matz, dans la même collection, d'une adaptation de Nuit de fureur de Jim Thompson, qui en signe la mise en images, très inspiré par la ville de Los Angeles où il a personnellement vécu plusieurs années.