January ’42. L.A. reels behind the shock of Pearl Harbor. Local Japanese residents are rounded up and slammed behind bars. Massive thunderstorms hit the city.
A body is unearthed in Griffith Park. The cops tag it a routine dead-man job. They’re wrong. It’s an early-warning signal of chaos.
There’s a murderous fire and a gold heist. There’s Fifth Column treason on American soil. There are homegrown Nazis, Commies, and race racketeers. It’s populism ascendant. There’s two dead cops in a dive off the jazz-club strip. And three men and one woman have a hot date with history.
Elmer Jackson is a corrupt Vice cop. He’s a flesh peddler and a bagman for the L.A. Chief of Police. Hideo Ashida is a crime-lab whiz, lashed by anti-Japanese rage. Dudley Smith is PD hardnose working Army Intelligence. He’s gone rogue and gone all-the-way fascist. Joan Conville was born rogue. She’s a defrocked Navy lieutenant and a war profiteer to her core.
L.A. ’42. Homefront madness. Wartime inferno – This Storm is James Ellroy’s most audacious novel yet. It is by turns savage, tender, elegiac. It lays bare and celebrates crazed Americans of all stripes. It is a masterpiece.