It is December 6, 1941. America stands at the brink of World War II. Last hopes for peace are shattered when Japanese squadrons bomb Pearl Harbor. Los Angeles has been a haven for loyal Japanese-Americans - but now war fever grips the city, and the Japanese internment begins. The hellish murder of a Japanese family summons three men and one woman.
William H. Parker is a captain on the Los Angeles Police. He's superbly gifted but consumed by dubious ideology. He is bitterly at odds with Sergeant Dudley Smith - ex-IRA killer, fledgling war profiteer.
Kay Lake is a 21-year-old dilettante looking for adventure. Hideo Ashida is a police chemist and the only Japanese on the payroll. The investigation throws them together and rips them apart.
©2014 James Ellroy (P)2015 Isis Publishing Ltd
Like many of Ellroys books the prose style is strange and takes a lot of time getting used to. There is little in the way of normal descriptive narrative, so the reader has to glean what he can from disjointed conversations and peculiar, almost surreal data dumps. Sometimes these are diary extracts, sometimes news broadcast and sometimes newspaper extracts. All that having been said, I really enjoyed this ( slightly overlong ) book. The setting in the anti-Jap hysteria of post Pearl Harbour Los Angeles is fascinating and the corruption of police and local officials truly horrifying. The plot is extremely convoluted and, together with the Ellroy style means that a listener really has to concentrate,. However, the reader (Jeff Harding) is amazing, using many different voices and accents. Truly brilliant, especially the women. Bottom line, I strongly recommend this book.
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