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|Preceded by||Brown's Requiem (1981)|
|Followed by||Blood on the Moon (1984)|
Officer Freddy Underhill is a young cop on the rise working out of the LAPD's Wilshire station in 1951. He covers the beat with his partner Herbert Lawton "Wacky" Walker, a World War II veteran with a Medal of Honor, a drinking problem, and an obsession with death. Underhill and Walker discover the mutilated and strangled corpse of a young secretary. The trail leads to other murders, new and old, and a beautiful crippled district attorney named Lorna Weinberg.
Several familiar themes and characters from Ellroy's L.A. Quartet series appear here, such as police lieutenant Dudley Smith, Michael Breuning, and Richard Carlisle.
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