Well, JFK, MLK and RFK were all dead by the time this book began, so I was wondering where it would go. Who else could be offed? Thankfully, foreign casino insurgency and a gem heist gone to shit allow Ellroy the chance to work some of his favourite characters (requisite dirty cops, Sal Mineo and Sonny Liston, mysterious double agents, the Mob) into something which isn’t quite as weighed down by history as the preceding books in the trilogy.
The gem heist – and where the gems lead – provides a neat small-scale tableau to provide a break from the Nixon and Hoover machinations. As with the search for rogue drug dealer Durfee in a previous volume, the smaller crime has echoes in the larger political sphere. This time around though, it seems more – human. (more…)