It's 1942. In the wake of Pearl Harbor, torrential rainstorms hit L.A. A body is unearthed in Griffith Park. The cops rate it a routine dead-man job. They're grievously wrong. A corrupt Vice cop, a crime-lab whiz, an LAPD hardnose and a defrocked Navy lieutenant will each become involved in the case. It's about to get complicated.
Rain is falling over Los Angeles throughout James Ellroy’s breathtakingly complex historical police procedural This Storm, a torrential saga of violence, corruption, lust, radical politics and greed ... beneath the conspiracies, double-crosses, killings, lies and alibis snakes an interlocking and comprehensible tale to be discerned—one either told in public or once more hushed up for the greater good ... Mr. Ellroy...extends his grand and grotesque yet idealistic vision even farther backward. The author has created an ongoing Balzacian jigsaw puzzle that will surely attract, repel, outrage and seduce readers for years to come.
Ellroy handles the criminal elements with flair and shows an impressive grasp of the investigatory and forensic techniques in use at that time. By the novel’s end, the interrelated mysteries have been resolved, and it’s exciting, page-turning stuff — but it’s only one aspect of a novel that has other, bigger things on its mind ... Ellroy has reached the midpoint of his most ambitious undertaking to date. The final two volumes can’t come quickly enough.
clearly Ellroy is having a blast using wartime LA as his playground, with Nazi sympathisers knocking about with other diabolical and cynical grotesques ... Ellroy remains one of the most exciting literary stylists in the English language. If David Peace’s iterative, repetitious, circular method lies at one end of the prose spectrum, Ellroy’s dry, clipped, slangy, telegraphic style is its counterpoint ... worth the wait. Like all good jazzmen, Ellroy works very hard indeed to make his music flow so easily.