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Perfidia by James Ellroy
  

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Ellroy is most famous for two exquisite series. The LA Quartet (including LA Confidential) set in the 40s and 50s and centred on the LAPD; and the Underworld USA Trilogy which runs from 58-73 and takes in the sweeping historical events including the assassination of JFK, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Vietnam and Nixon. This is the start of a new series and goes back in time a little to the day before Pearl Harbour. It is an incredible, lush prelude to both series with a confluence of characters (as well as an introduction to plenty of new ones) and their earlier war time lives, centred around the early days of war in LA. You don’t have to have read the other books to fall completely in love with this one.

If you like James Ellroy you might also like to read books by Walter Mosley, Jake Arnott and George P Pelecanos.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. In 1990, L.A. Confidential was acclaimed as the most extraordinary crime novel produced in the US in decades. The complex narrative showcased a massive panoply of Los Angeles in the 1950s, blending a fictional scenario with real events and characters, the picture-postcard vision of the city undercut by Ellroy’s anatomising of its darker side. The new book is a prequel (beginning on the day of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor) to the original L.A. Quartet, featuring several of the same characters and a host of real-life personalities. As before, we are presented with a richly flavoured goulash in which corrupt cops, psychopathic gangsters, Hollywood types with unorthodox sexual tastes, racists and junkies, violently intersect Police chemist Hideo Ashida is called to a gruesome ritual suicide, but he suspects mass murder. And as Japanese ‘subversives’ are corralled by US authorities, an orgy of bloodshed connected to Hideo’s case is unleashed. Ellroy is still trying to expand the parameters of the crime novel.
~ Barry Forshaw

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Synopsis

Perfidia by James Ellroy

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 and race hate grip 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, corrosively ambitious, liquored-up and consumed by dubious ideology. He is bitterly at odds with Sergeant Dudley Smith - Irish emigre, 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 L.A. cop payroll. The investigation throws them together and rips them apart. The crime becomes a political storm centre that brilliantly illuminates these four driven souls - comrades, rivals, lovers, history's pawns. Perfidia is a novel of astonishments. It is World War II as you have never seen it, and Los Angeles as James Ellroy has never written it before. Here, he gives us the party at the edge of the abyss and the precipice of America's ascendance. Perfidia is that moment, spellbindingly captured. It beckons us to solve a great crime that, in its turn, explicates the crime of war itself. It is a great American novel.


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Reviews

'James Ellroy is the best crime writer in the world.'

Irish Times

One of the most original and daring writers alive.

'Independent on Sunday'

About the Author

James Ellroy

James Ellroy was born in Los Angeles in 1948. He is the author of the acclaimed LA Quartet, The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, LA Confidential and White Jazz, as well as the first two parts of his Underworld USA trilogy, American Tabloid and The Cold Six Thousand which were both Sunday Times bestsellers.

In 2011 James Ellroy was awarded the French Order of Arts and Letters by France's culture minister Frederic Mitterand. Mitterand described Ellroy as "the master of dark dreams" and called him "one of the most prominent names in modern literature".

Ellroy's editor at William Heinemann, Jason Arthur, said: "If the purpose of this honour is to recognise a significant contribution to literature, then it is richly deserved. It reaffirms my belief that his writing truly transcends genre and easy labels—James is quite simply one of the best novelists writing today."

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Book Info

Publication date

11th September 2014

Author

James Ellroy

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Author's Website

jamesellroy.net/

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Publisher

William Heinemann Ltd an imprint of Cornerstone

Format

Hardback
720 pages

Categories

Historical Fiction
Literary Fiction
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Crime & mystery

ISBN

9780434020522

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