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Los Angeles Noir by Denise Hamilton

Los Angeles Noir (2007)

by Denise Hamilton (Editor)

Other authors: Michael Connelly (Contributor), Robert Ferrigno (Contributor), Janet Fitch (Contributor), Denise Hamilton (Contributor), Naomi Hirahara (Contributor)12 more, Emory Holmes, II (Contributor), Patt Morrison (Contributor), Jim Pascoe (Contributor), Gary Phillips (Contributor), Scott Phillips (Contributor), Neal Pollack (Contributor), Christopher Rice (Contributor), Brian Ascalon Roley (Contributor), Lienna Silver (Contributor), Susan Straight (Contributor), Héctor Tobar (Contributor), Diana Wagman (Contributor)

Series: Akashic Books Noir Series, Los Angeles Noir (1)

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1042169,888 (3.42)11



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Akashic has a series of geographically-themed collections of crime fiction. This one, as the title aptly implies, features Los Angeles, which, if you have spent decades of your life here, immediately makes you suspicious that the stories will be filled with cliches about Hollywood and Beverly Hills and Malibu. They are not. The collection is geographically divided into different areas of greater LA and the authors do a great job of capturing the different neighborhoods, making them even recognizable by a native. The stories take the reader through disparate neighborhoods such as Mulholland Drive where fancy sportscars go over the cliff's edge (Connelly's "Mulholland Drive") to the massage parlors and bus stops of Koreatown (Hirhara's "Number 19"). They take you into Leimert Park ("Dangerous Days" by Emory Holmes III). "Midnight in Silicon Valley" by Denise Hamilton is a tale about Chinese entreprenours driving Lexuses by the gravel pits of Irwindale: "They caught up with Russell Chen as he drove home from work, running his Lexus off the frontage road by the gravel pits of Irwindale."

The second part of the anthology is subtitled "Hollywoodlandia" and takes the reader to a trattoria on Hillhurst that feels just like Los Feliz and even talks about the mansions north of Los Feliz and the older duplexes south of it where the older washed-up actresses retire ("The Method" by Janet Fitch). Patt Morrison's rendition of Beverly Hills is unlike anything you saw on "90210." "Over Thirty" is a chilling and explicit look at the underbelly of the alternative lifestyle of West Hollywood. "Once More, Lazarus" by Hector Tobias is about children and guns and detectives and has that East Hollywood desperate feel.

The third part of the anthology takes the reader to that legendary land "East of La Cienega." Susan Straight's "The Golden Gopher" begins just like an old rock song about nobody walking in LA and features the neighborhoods of Echo Park and Downtown. "The Kidnapper Bell" by Jim Pascoe is about the LA River, the concrete-lined channel that passes for a river in this dry desert clime. It is about bodies and bells and Pavlov's dog. Neal Pollack's brilliant piece "City of Commerce" is an absolute gem that talks about a marriage on the rocks and the gambling bug in a concrete industrial wasteland where dreams go to die. "Fish" by Lienna Silver captures the atmosphere of the Russian emigre in Plummer Park. Gary Phillips's piece "Roger Crumbler Considered His Shave" rehashes some old noir themes about graft and adultery and mistrust. It doesn't necessarily evoke Mid-City, but its a good piece nonetheless.

Part IV of the anthology is the Gold Coast and it begins with a topnotch piece by Scott Phillips, entitled "The Girl Who Kissed Barnaby Jones." It is about washed-up actresses, barmaids, and bartenders finally getting lucky. "Kinship" by Brian Ascalon Roley is a story that takes place in Mar Vista, a neighborhood that is about manhood, fatherhood, and neighborhood. It manages to vividly capture the neighborhood stashed between trendy Santa Monica and gang-infested Venice. Terrific story. Robert Ferrigno's "The Hour When The Ship Comes In" captures the intersection of various social and economic neighborhoods from Belmont shore, "the yuppie jewel of Long Beach" to the working-class areas of Long Beach in the shadow of the Queen Mary. Things happen - everywhere - and the trails of bloodstains can't always be washed away. Finally, "What You See" by Diana Wagman captures the Westchester hood.

All in all, it is certainly a worthwhile collection taking on LA's mean streets from a variety of writing styles and giving the reader the flavor of all kinds of neighborhoods. ( )
  DaveWilde | Sep 22, 2017 |
Enjoyed that all the stories were set in various parts of Los Angeles, familiar locations. ( )
  SignoraEdie | Dec 5, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hamilton, DeniseEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Connelly, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ferrigno, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fitch, JanetContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hamilton, DeniseContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hirahara, NaomiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Holmes, Emory, IIContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morrison, PattContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pascoe, JimContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Phillips, GaryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Phillips, ScottContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pollack, NealContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rice, ChristopherContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Roley, Brian AscalonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Silver, LiennaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Straight, SusanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tobar, HéctorContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wagman, DianaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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A collection of crime stories that take place in Los Angeles.

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Denise Hamilton is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Akashic Books

An edition of this book was published by Akashic Books.

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An edition of this book was published by Asphalte.

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