cover image Suicide Hill

Suicide Hill

James Ellroy. Mysterious Press, $15.95 (280pp) ISBN 978-0-89296-235-8

At one point in Ellroy's new mystery, a character wonders if the world is ""nothing but wimps, pimps, psychos and sex fiends,'' and by the end of this book the reader wonders, too. Estranged from his wife and daughters and on the verge of forced early retirement, L.A.P.D. Sgt. Lloyd Hopkins is assigned to ``liaise'' with the FBI in investigating bank robberies in which the doxies of philandering bank managers have been held hostage. Hopkins's ``hot-dogging'' investigative methods blur the lines between good guys and bad guys, and by the final series of bloody climaxes almost everybody seems psycho. The book hurtles along with almost equal gore and slapstick, L.A.'s sleazy sides are brilliantly drawn and if the ending is a bit melodramatic readers will have had their money's worth. Ellroy (Because the Night can't write a dull line. (April 17)