James Ellroy is a unique and powerful writer with a tough and explosive voice. His obsession with the dark side of L. A. is personal and vital, triggered by the murder of his mother when he was ten. This defining event spawned an early addiction to paperback crime novels, and Ellroy's own writing is saturated in an often violent underworld of bent cops, politicians, stars, sleeze and rumour. Ellroy exploits memory, history, fact and fiction with relentless energy and panache. What emerges is an intense, mythical version of tinseltown in the second half of the twentieth century.