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LA Quartet books in order: the complete series

Looking for James Ellroy’s LA Quartet books in order? Look no further!

A groundbreaking work of American popular fiction, Ellroy’s LA Quartet is a must-read for all crime fans.

Penned in the 1980s, but set in late 1940s to 1950s Los Angeles, they are an epic re-envisioning of post-war LA, blending crime with politics with a film noir feel.

This is dark, brutal fiction, full of action, pace and violence, with a characteristically clipped style and stripped-to-the-bone prose. A standout in the genre that won’t disappoint.

James Ellroy’s LA Quartet books in order:

The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy

1. The Black Dahlia (1987)

Los Angeles, 15th January 1947. A beautiful young woman walks into the night and meets a horrific destiny.

Five days later, her tortured body is found drained of blood and cut in half. The newspapers call her ‘The Black Dahlia’. For two cops, what begins as an investigation becomes a hellish journey that takes them to the core of the dead girl’s twisted life.

And soon professional curiosity spirals into obsession…

The Big Nowhere by James Ellroy

2. The Big Nowhere (1988)

A startling panorama of Los Angeles in the fifties. New Year’s Eve as 1949 turns to 1950, Los Angeles: The City of Angels has becomes the city of the Angel of Death.

Communist witch-hunts and insanely violent killings are terrorising the community. Three men are plunged into a maelstrom of violence and deceit when their lives become inextricably linked as each one confronts his own personal darkness.

LA Confidential by James Ellroy

3. LA Confidential (1990)

Christmas 1951, Los Angeles: a city where the police are as crooked as the criminals.

Six prisoners are beaten senseless in their cells by cops crazed on alcohol. For the three LAPD detectives involved, it will expose the guilty secrets on which they have built their corrupt and violent careers, taking them on a sprawling epic of brutal violence and the murderous seedy side of Hollywood.

White Jazz by James Ellroy

4. White Jazz (1991)

Los Angeles, 1958: a city on the make. A boom town at the edge of a new era ripe for plunder.

Lieutenant Dave Klein: in turn a lawyer, bagman, slum landlord, mob killer. Klein stands at the centre of a complex web of plots where violence and death will intersect. He’s a slumlord, a bagman, an enforcer–a power in his own small corner of hell. Then the Feds announce a full-out investigation into local police corruption, and everything goes haywire.

Klein’s been hung out as bait, “a bad cop to draw the heat,” and the heat’s coming from all sides: from local politicians, from LAPD brass, from racketeers and drug kingpins – all of them hell-bent on keeping their own secrets hidden. For Klein, “forty-two and going on dead,” it’s dues time…

There you have it – all James Ellroy’s LA Quartet books in order! How many have you read? Let us know in the comments below…

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