Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Because the Night, by James Ellroy

(hb; 1985: Book Two of the L.A. Noir trilogy)

From the inside flap:

“Jacob Herzog, hero cop, has disappeared. A multiple murder committed with a pre-Civil War revolver remains unsolved. Are the cases linked? As Det. Sgt. Lloyd Hopkins pieces the puzzle together, he uncovers a startling trail of arcane secrets and madness – all leading to one psychotic mastermind.”


Hopkins pits himself against a manipulative sadistic psychiatrist (John Havilland, aka “Dr. John the Night Tripper”) who drives his patients to murder, cold seduction and other cruelties. Hopkins is still an on-the-edge cop, but he's more likeable than he was in Blood on the Moon.

As intense and brutal as its predecessor, Because the Night has the same themes, many of them not for the faint of heart, but they're seen through a more humane lens.

Fast, gripping read, can't wait to read the next (and final) sequel, Suicide Hill.

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