Crime Wave

Reportage and Fiction from the Underside of L.A.

Los Angeles. In no other city do sex, celebrity, money, and crime exert such an irresistible magnetic field.

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.