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L. A. Noir (original 1997; edition 1998)
by James Ellroy (Author)
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0892966866, Hardcover)In the introduction to L.A. Noir, a collection of three contemporary cop thrillers originally published in the early '80s, James Ellroy confesses his desire to match the suspense and terror of Thomas Harris's groundbreaking novel Red Dragon and to create a detective as compelling and as complex as Harris's Will Graham. His attempts to fulfill that desire introduce readers to Detective Sergeant Lloyd Hopkins, a brilliantly flawed hero of sorts whom Ellroy describes as his "antidote to the sensitive candy-assed philosophizing private eye."
Written before Hannibal Lecter made his first appearance in print, before serial killer fiction had become a subgenre, Blood on the Moon, the first novel of the L.A. Noir trilogy, pits the racist, reactionary, sexually obsessed Hopkins against a sexually motivated serial killer whose intelligence and capacity for brutality match the detective's own. In Because the Night, the second book in the trilogy, Hopkins once again confronts psychotic evil, this time while investigating the possible connection between a multiple homicide and the disappearance of a fellow cop. The trilogy concludes with Suicide Hill, a manhunt-thriller in which Hopkins tracks down a kidnapper and discovers among his colleagues a complex web of power, corruption, and lies.
Suspenseful, stark, and startling, the novels of the L.A. Noir trilogy exhibit the seminal hallmarks of Ellroy's taut, haunting prose. His dark and disturbing portrait of Hopkins, a thoroughly unlikable protagonist, drives the novels with unrelenting force, taking readers down paths of they might not really want to explore. Readers seeking a protagonist they can identify with, a hero they can like, probably won't find much to recommend in L.A. Noir, but Ellroy never meant Hopkins to be a likable hero. Instead, he has created what he calls "a complex monument to a basically shitty guy," and in doing so he laid the groundwork for the novels that have earned him a seat at the table of truly great crime novelists. In all, L.A. Noir offers Ellroy's admirers a chance to look back a few years and see the primitive intimations of the style and substance that would later characterize his L.A. Quartet series, but it is no primer for beginners, who might be more readily wooed by the more refined tension and complexity of his later novels. --L.A. Smith
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 07 Jan 2013 13:45:25 -0500)
The three mesmerizing cases detective Lloyd Hopkins takes on as he prowls LA's mean, dark streets ; he sights a man, a suspicious elderly charcter in charge of his expatriate grandkids. Poor kids.
(summary from another edition)
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