My Dark Places

My Dark Places

An L.A. Crime Memoir

Book - 1996
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In 1958 Jean Ellroy was murdered, her body dumped on a roadway in a seedy L.A. suburb. Her killer was never found, and the police dismissed her as a casualty of a cheap Saturday night. James Ellroy was ten when his mother died, and he spent the next thirty-six years running from her ghost and attempting to exorcize it through crime fiction. In 1994, Ellroy quit running. He went back to L.A., to find out the truth about his mother - and himself. In My Dark Places, our most uncompromising crime writer - author of American Tabloid and White Jazz - tells what happened when he teamed up with a brilliant homicide cop to investigate a murder that everyone else had forgotten - and to reclaim the mother he had despised, desired, but never dared to love. What ensues is an epic of loss, fixation, and redemption, a memoir that is also a history of the American way of violence.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 1996.
ISBN: 9780679441854
Characteristics: 351 pages ;,25 cm.


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Apr 09, 2019

Spare taut brutal, the author weaves a web of prose as chilling and bare as the stark cruel facts they enmesh. A memoir that encapsulates moral depravity with personal pain in a ravenous feast of darkness.

This is a startling non-fiction trip into sordid, grotesque LA crime, with the author starting out as a petty criminal, punk, and addict. The Hamway murder case is particularly upsetting. You can't put it down, and Ellroy's style is almost like Jack Webb's straight narration in the "Dragnet" show. Don't read it to find out how he turned his life around, it's not a self-help book.

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