And no writer has mapped that field with greater savagery and savvy than James Ellroy. With this fever-hot collection of reportage and short fiction, he returns to his native habitat and portrays it as a smog-shrouded netherworld where “every third person is a peeper, prowler, pederast, or pimp.”
From the scandal sheets of the 1950s to this morning’s police blotter, Ellroy reopens true crimes and restores human dimensions to their victims. Sublimely, he resurrects the rag Hush-Hush magazine. And in a baroquely plotted novella of slaughter and corruption, he enlists the forgotten luminaries of a lost Hollywood. Shocking, mesmerizing, and written in prose as wounding as an ice pick, Crime Wave is Ellroy at his best.