AFTER completing his Underworld U.S.A. Trilogy and writing a memoir about his often tortured relationships with women, crime writer James Ellroy is back with a new quartet of novels that will serve as a prequel to his Los Angeles Quartet — the four great novels that include L.A. Confidential.
A few days ago, I hung out with Ellroy at the downtown Pacific Dining Car while he double-fisted coffee, got his car detailed, and talked about the first of the series — the 700-page Perfidia. It includes characters from his earlier novels and documents the hedonistic and fearful weeks that followed the Pearl Harbor bombings. Despite the amped-up tone of the book, on the day I saw the author he was relatively sedate, neither cursing a blue streak nor barking like a dog. (He was surprised — he’s a guy who writes his work longhand and has avoided most of the developments of the last few decades — that his L.A. Times photo would be in color.)
My story is here. Don’t miss Perfidia.