cover image This Storm

This Storm

James Ellroy. Knopf, $29.95 (608p) ISBN 978-0-307-95700-9

MWA Grand Master Ellroy’s stunning sequel to 2014’s Perfidia opens in Los Angeles on New Year’s Eve 1941. Anti-Japanese hysteria has reached a fever pitch and shifting alliances of left-wing and right-wing groups struggle to work out the best way to profit off the war. Dudley Smith, a police sergeant, has taken an Army commission south of the border, ostensibly to thwart Fifth Column pro-Nazi subversives and suspected Japanese submarine encroachments in Baja, but in reality to set up a lucrative wartime business smuggling heroin and illegal immigrant labor. Meanwhile, the L.A. police uncover a body in Griffith Park. Brilliant forensics expert Hideo Ashida, assisted by a talented young scientist with secrets of her own, must grapple with his devotion to Smith and his own conscience as he begins to piece together an intricate story involving a decade-old gold heist and a lethal fire in the park. As Smith squares off against Bill Parker, an LAPD captain on the rise, things get complicated and ugly very quickly. Just when it seems that things couldn’t get darker, Ellroy peels back a deeper level of corruption. This obsessive, wholly satisfying probing of 20th-century American history deserves a wide readership. [em]Agent: Nat Sobel, Sobel Weber Assoc. (June) [/em]