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It’s a Crime!

LA’s Men in Blue

LA’s Men in Blue

Let’s face it: Los Angeles is known around the world for two things. One is Hollywood, though we’re by no means a major film production center any more. And the other is crime. Not, mind you, because we are a particularly dangerous place; but the books and movies have painted Southern California as a place where bad things can happen.

I guess it all started with Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, David Goodis, Cornell Woolrich, and Dashiell Hammett, whose novels painted this sunbright place as a pit of darkness. That was quickly echoed in the films, especially with the film noir classics such as The Big Sleep, Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce, The Blue Gardenia, and The Big Heat.

Even now, excellent crime novels are being written by the likes of James Ellroy, Joseph Wambaugh, and Michael Connelly. I am currently reading Connelly’s Trunk Music, a police procedural featuring his homicide detective hero Harry (short for Hieronymus) Bosch. A small-time Hollywood producer is found dead in the trunk of his Rolls Royce, and Bosch ranges from the Hollywood Hills to Park Center (“The Glass House,” LAPD headquarters) to the Las Vegas Strip to find the killer while fighting off his own enemies.



2 thoughts on “It’s a Crime!

  1. I love Connelly’s books! I’m up to #14 in the Bosch series plus some of his others. I didn’t read The Lincoln Lawyer for a long time because I thought I’d be bored by the courtroom drama. Not so! I knew I had to read it when I found out how his characters cross each other’s paths.

  2. I’ll give Bosch the final word:

    “Sometimes Bosch thought of his city as some kind of vast drain that pulled all bad things toward a spot where they swirled around in deep concentration. It was a place where it seemed the good people were often outnumbered by the bad. The creeps and schemers, the rapists and killers. It was a place that could easily produce someone like [murderous cop] Powers. Too easily.”

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