James Ellroy



New York Times Magazine

“I've had precious few moments,” admitted the novelist James Ellroy, “where I've said to myself: ‘Ellroy, you are the king. You're the greatest crime writer that ever lived.'” A comment like that might be insufferable if it weren't delivered, as it was by Ellroy, with a grin and if it didn't also have a plausible claim on the truth. Ellroy's morally complex, baroquely plotted, sprawling and highly stylized novels — “The Black Dahlia” and “L.A. Confidential” chief among them — constitute a singularly intense body of work. In the 71-year-old's opinion, he has reached a new peak with his latest, “This Storm.” But he's not taking that as an invitation to coast. “The reflex kicks in,” Ellroy said, and it tells him: “You've got more work to do.”

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