L. A. Confidential

L. A. Confidential
A Crime or Detective novel has many characteristics. It can combine mystery, suspense, romance, and maybe even a bit of comedy into an intriguing story that you just can?t walk away from. James Ellroy, the self proclaimed Demon Dog of American Literature, has produced a masterpiece in the third book in his L. A. Quartet. L. A. Confidential is a great example of this genre of literature. It combines multiple love stories, multiple crimes, and a slew of characters into a work of art that is as highly dramatic as it is suspenseful. This is a book that will literally change you be affecting your way of speaking and may even cause you lose of sleep in order to get another couple pages in before calling it a night.
?James Ellroy?s novel L.A. Confidential is almost five hundred pages long, it has over one hundred characters, it is set over a period of eight years. Mainly the thought processes of the three main characters tell the story. The Plot is so complex and intricate that reading it is the literary equivalent of studying particle physics? (Reder). L. A. Confidential is a so confusing at first that you end up re-reading pages just to make sure you understand what just happened. The story is written from a first person point of view from three different characters and it switches back and fourth each chapter which may only be a couple of pages long. This makes the story move extremely quickly back and fourth between scenes, settings and characters. Although this can be confusing and lead to your flipping back a couple chapters to see where that character popped up in the first place, the story is so fast paced that it hooks you and you can do nothing but keep reading in hopes of solving the endless numbers of mysteries in each section.

?Ed grabbed at it, caught it. ?you call.?
Trash ran out. Ed stood up, breathed chaos: cops, shattered glass, an ambulance through the window, loading bodies. Bud White shouting orders, a little girl in a blood-spattered dress eating a doughnut? (Ellroy, pg. 467). Ellroy wrote this book with thoughts of the characters providing the lines of the book. The entire book is written with dialogue and the stream of conscious of the main character at that point in the story. This genius idea makes the book flow so fast that you can barely keep up with the action. You almost have to teach yourself to read again to adjust to Ellroy?s style of writing and at first it in confusing but you do gain a grasp for his literature. When questioned about why he chose to develop this style of writing he stated that he needed to cut the book down from over 600 pages to fewer than 500 without losing a drop of the story. By just showing what the characters were thinking not only did he cut the story by over a hundred pages but made it that much more exciting.
L.A. Confidential is a story that starts out in 1950. There are three detectives that are the main characters of this novel. Ed Exley is a up and coming, play it by the book cop who is battling against his legendary father who was chief of police and his hero brother who was killed in the line of duty and is a L.A.P.D. legend. Wendell ?Bud? White sat chained to a radiator while his abusive father killed his mother. Bud is now a bomb with a badge that wages war on wife beaters and is known for his violent methods. Trashcan Jack Vincennes is a Narco detective with a shady past who shakes down movie stars for a scandal magazine. The book takes place over eight years in which time the three detectives cross paths over and over again. In 1953 there is a robbery at the Nite Owl Café in which six people are killed and the suspects are tracked down and killed by Ed Exley. The case is thought to be closed but over the next couple years White keeps finding more and more evidence that maybe his archenemy Exley was a little premature in his killing of the Nite Owl suspects. The case is later reopened and Exley, White and Vincennes are forced to cooperate in order to find out who is behind all the organized crime and murders of important figures in the last few years all the way back to the real killers at the Nite Owl so many years ago in a plot twist that ties everyone together and leaves no one as an innocent.
The conclusion of this book is so intense that I spent five hours straight reading just in order to get to the bottom of one of the greatest ?who-dun-it?s? in history. Ellroy?s books combine both creative madman and literary genius into one. Ellroy is known as one of the greatest authors in our country and rightfully so. His novels have won numerous awards and L.A. Confidential was made into a very successful movie that was voted as the third best movie of the 1990?s, behind only Schlinder?s List and Saving Private Ryan (Edark). Ellroy?s novels are the perfect example of the Crime or Detective genre.

L. A. Confidential 7.6 of 10 on the basis of 2595 Review.