This Storm

Cover of the book, This Storm.

Written by:

Published by: William Heinemann

★★★★★
★★★★★

3.58, based on 1,130 reviews.

Goodreads says:

From "one of the great American writers of our time" (Los Angeles Times Book Review)--a brilliant historical crime novel, a pulse-pounding, as-it-happens narrative that unfolds in Los Angeles and Mexico in the wake in Pearl Harbor.New Year's Eve 1941, war has been declared and the Japanese internment is in full swing. Los Angeles is gripped by war fever and racial hatred. Sergeant Dudley Smith of the Los Angeles Police Department is now Army Captain Smith and a budding war profiteer. He's shacked up with Claire De Haven in Baja, Mexico, and spends his time sniffing out fifth column elements and hunting down a missing Japanese Naval Attaché. Hideo Ashida is cashing LAPD paychecks and working in the crime lab, but he knows he can't avoid internment forever. Newly arrived Navy Lieutenant Joan Conville winds up in jail accused of vehicular homicide, but Captain William H. Parker squashes the charges and puts her on Ashida's team. Elmer Jackson, who is assigned to the alien squad and to bodyguard Ashida, begins to develop an obsession with Kay Lake, the unconsummated object of Captain Parker's desire. Now, Conville and Ashida become obsessed with finding the identity of a body discovered in a mudslide. It's a murder victim linked to an unsolved gold heist from '31, and they want the gold. And things really heat up when two detectives are found murdered in a notorious dope fiend hang-out.

Waterstones says:

Signed Edition

A brilliant historical crime novel, a pulse-pounding, as-it-happens narrative that unfolds in Los Angeles and Mexico in the wake in Pearl Harbor.

January, '42. L.A. reels behind the shock of Pearl Harbor. Local Japanese are rounded up and slammed behind bars. Massive thunderstorms hit the city. A body is unearthed in Griffith Park. The cops tag it a routine dead-man job. They're wrong. It's an early-warning signal of chaos.

There's a murderous fire and a gold heist, exploding out of the past. There's Fifth Column treason - at this moment, on American soil. There are homegrown Nazis, commies and race racketeers. There's two dead cops in a dive off the jazz-club strip. And three men and one woman have a hot date with History.

Elmer Jackson is a corrupt Vice cop. He's a flesh peddler and a bagman for the L.A. Chief of Police. Hideo Ashida is a crime-lab whiz, lashed by anti-Japanese rage.

Dudley Smith is a PD hardnose working Army Intelligence. He's gone rogue and gone all-the-way fascist.

Joan Conville was born rogue. She's a defrocked Navy lieutenant and a war profiteer to her core.

L.A., '42. Homefront madness ascendant. Early-wartime inferno - This Storm is James Ellroy's most audacious novel yet. It is by turns savage, tender, elegiac. It lays bare and celebrates crazed Americans of all stripes.


Rating breakdown

★★★★★
★★★★★
3.58 out of 5 stars (1,130 ratings)
5 25% (284 ratings)
4 33% (372 ratings)
3 24% (272 ratings)
2 11% (124 ratings)
1 7% (78 ratings)

About James Ellroy

James Ellroy was born in Los Angeles in 1948. His L.A. Quartet novels—The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, and White Jazz—were international best sellers. His novel American Tabloid was Time magazine’s Best Book (fiction) of 1995; his memoir, My Dark Places, was a Time Best Book of the Year and a New York Times Notable Book for 1996. His novel The Cold Six Thousand was a New York Times Notable Book and a Los Angeles Times Best Book for 2001. Ellroy lives in Los Angeles.[Read more about James Ellroy]


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