L.A. Noir

It had everything I needed to be a sure-fire success– dark gloomy cover, about noir, about LA. And then the author opened his mouth and began to cobble together bits of information all quoted extensively from other sources. There are 41 pages of notes at the back, to prevent plagiarism charges. Taking other people’s work and rehashing it into a new book isn’t the mark of absolute death, but making it all boring is. Let me see if I can recap this for you to save you the pain of skimming it yourself: Mickey Cohen is the gangster who runs LA in the 1940s, after Bugsy Siegel kicks the bucket. LA cops are intermingled with the underworld, corrupt, taking bribes and payoffs. Various mayors and police chiefs walk on stage, passing over William Parker, who was openly ambitious about wanting to be Chief. Blah blah blah, wiretap here, prostitution bust there, gambling ring raking in enormous profits, Las Vegas taking off, WWII (Parker cleans up the German police force post-war), blah.
I lost faith in this book when the author described the movement someone as “westward, from California to Massachusetts.”
Miraculously recommended by the LA Times as a notable book of the year.