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White Jazz (L.A. Quartet)


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The explosive conclusion to his crime fiction masterpiece, The LA Quartet, by the bestselling author of LA Confidential.

About the Author

James Ellroy was born in Los Angeles in 1948. He is the author of the acclaimed LA Quartet, The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, LA Confidential and White Jazz, as well as the first two parts of his Underworld USA trilogy, American Tabloid and The Cold Six Thousand which were both Sunday Times bestsellers.


Blacker than noir, this latest novel from the author of L.A. Confidential and The Black Dahlia is set in 1958 and features a dirty LAPD detective with a breathtaking mastery of corruption. Dave Klein, a gangland heavy, USC law grad and police lieutenant, can thread a legal loophole as easily as he slips on brass knuckles. Assigned by the police commissioner to head an investigation into a narc squad payoff source, Klein smells a setup. To save himself, he traces a genealogy of double-dealing that includes incest, institutionalized bribery and police corruption, all going back decades. Ellroy's telegraphic style, which reduces masses of plot information to quick-study shorthand, captures the seamy stream-of-consciousness of this tainted cop and carries the reader from initial repulsion to a fascination that lingers long after the story's last notes have faded away. Ellroy adroitly transfers the manic energy of scat and bebop to this final volume of his tense, lowdown L.A. epic. Moreover, he demonstrates perfect pitch for illegalese, but the hepcat banter never obscures the complex plotting of politics and pre-Miranda rights police work, a combination that here makes most other crime novels seem naive. 40,000 first printing; BOMC alternate. (Sept.)

Ellroy adeptly leads the reader into the murky, decadent world of Los Angeles in the late 1950s, as seen through the cynical eyes of David Klein, age 42, the commanding officer of the LAPD's vice division. Klein makes up his own rules as he goes along, rules that involve money, mayhem, and murder as necessary. Klein isn't the only one to follow such rules, which apparently are the ``norm'' for other members of the force as well. But Klein suffers the unthinkable when he becomes the scapegoat so that other officers can protect their own dirty laundry from the probing eyes of federal agents. White Jazz is the last volume of what is known as Ellroy's ``L.A. quartet'' of crime novels, which includes his previous L.A. Confidential (Mysterious Pr., 1990), The Big Nowhere (Mysterious Pr., 1988), and The Black Dahlia ( LJ 10/15/87). It's disturbing but riveting reading that Ellroy fans will especially enjoy.--Marlene Lee, Drain Branch Lib., Ore.

"'A vivid, enthralling read...James Ellroy is the outstanding American crime writer of his generation'" * Independent *
"'Ellroy has completed a climb to the very pinnacle of crime writing.White Jazz is without doubt his best yet'" * City Limits *
"'Recent novels by the likes of Carl Hiassen, Andrew Vachss and George V Higgins have at best been treading water.James Ellroy may be the exception.he seems in less danger of burnout than of going supernova'" * New Statesman and Society *
"'James Ellroy writes like a man possessed about men possessed...the labyrinthine plotting is superb...a bleak, loveless masterpiece'" * Modern Review *

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