One of his top five crime novels, as told to Publishers Weekly:
L.A. Confidential by James EllroyRead about another novel Winslow tagged.
I’m not the first to say that The Big Dog picked up where Chandler left off, but...The Big Dog picked up where Chandler left off. Ellroy owns L.A. of the 1950’s, and L.A. Confidential is the third in his ‘LA Quartet’ series. I loved The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere and White Jazz, but L.A. Confidential is my favorite. The characters – Exley, White and Vincennes – are so real, so finely drawn, such bundles of internal conflict. What Ellroy captures – maybe even more than Chandler – is the corruption – in the city, on the police force, inside people’s souls. And the down-and–dirty politics within the police force and the city of Los Angeles create a complexity that only a master writer can handle. The book is about more than just crime – it’s about prejudice, class, money and power.
I vividly remember reading this book when I was trying to become a crime writer and thinking, “This is how it’s done, this is what I want to be.”
L.A. Confidential is one of David Nicholls' ten best film adaptations.
Learn about Don Winslow's hero from outside literature.