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, a novella and five short stories, shows us the seedy side of glamorous Hollywood, laid out like a corpse in the morgue.