Review by Charles Wyrick For those who can't get enough crime reporting from their local newspaper, God created James Ellroy. Whether it be fiction or prose,no one writes better about violence and deviant behavior. In his newest book,Crime Wave, the author writes about his usual suspects . . . I mean subjects(i.e. sex, violence, and Los Angeles) as well as revisiting his own past. Partreporting, part noir fiction, and part personal history, Crime Wave shows themany sides to the writing of this fascinating man. Luckily not many authors canclaim James Ellroy's background. In 1957, a police detective informed the thenten-year-old that his mother had been killed. To this day the murder standsunsolved. Thus Crime Wave begins with three essays on unsolved murders, eachinvolving women (one being Ellroy's mother) and all occurring in L.
A. In thesepieces Ellroy plays historical detective. He immerses himself in homicide filesto reconstruct the lives of the victims. In his writing, Ellroy faces the cruelfacts of violent crime and displays his untiring knowledge of L.
A. police workprocedure. At times he sounds like the most hardened detective on the beat, whichis not too much of a stretch for this gifted literary chameleon. In addition tononfiction, Crime Wave includes three new stories that display the kind ofhard-boiled fiction for which Ellroy is best known. Fans of L.
A. Confidentialwill be happy to catch up with Danny Getchell, owner and operator of Hush Hush,Hollywood's most salacious and vicious insider gossip rag. Elsewhere Ellroy digsup some serious West Coast foul play through one of his favorite tinsel townscenesters, the tough, accordion-squeezing loverboy, Dick Contino. These talesdeliver the goods on the city of angels. So if crime's your bag, lose your localpaper and check out James Ellroy.
Charles Wyrick plays guitar in the band Stella.