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A scintillating novel of sex and murder in 50s LA

1951 – Patrolman Frederick Underhill of the Los Angeles Police Department is an ambitious rookie with a dream to become the most celebrated detective of his time. He is also sexually promiscuous. His two drives are brought together by the slaying of Maggie Cadwallader, a lonely woman whom Underhill slept with shortly before her death.

Using his inside knowledge, Underhill discovers a likely suspect, and uses the information to buy himself on to the case which is being handled by LA’s most fearsome and most unscrupulous pursuer of murder: Lieutenant Dudley Smith. Soon Underhill is an accomplice to Smith’s ruthless interrogation techniques. But far from the celebrity he was hoping for, Underhill finds himself on the edge of the abyss, his whole life and future about to take a fall.


One of the most original and daring writers alive

Independent on Sunday

The most distinctive crime writer of his generation

Sunday Times

Ellroy is a unique voice in American fiction

Jonathan Kellerman

One of the most important popular fiction writers in America, whose best books take their readers to the darkest places of the human condition - a Tinseltown Dostoevsky

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    January 2, 2013

    Windmill Books

    352 pages

    RRP $19.99

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  • EBook


    November 30, 2011

    Cornerstone Digital

    352 pages

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