James Ellroy is the canonized writer behind some of America’s most famous crime novels, such as The Black Dahlia and L.A. Confidential. With his highly-anticipated This Storm, Ellroy takes us back in time to examine power and corruption in WWII.
A celebrated crime author, James Ellroy is equally fascinated by the dark side of America’s history. This Storm—the latest book in his Second LA Quartet series, and the prequel to his celebrated LA Quartet—offers a reflection of the power, greed, and corruption that occured in the background of the America’s wartime trauma. Highly-anticipated, it was selected amongst the 50 Most Anticipated Books of 2019 by Entertainment Weekly, and the Top 10 Mysteries and Thrillers by Publishers Weekly, who say this “obsessive, wholly satisfying probing of 20th-century American history deserves a wide readership”.
This Storm is no small feat. It is ambitious like all of Ellroy’s other novels; sprawling, intense, intricate. The book picks up shortly after the events of 2014’s Perfidia, which kicked off with the ritual murder of a Japanese-American family hours before Pearl Harbour. Now in 1941, the book documents the mounting anti-Japanese hysteria, culminating with President Roosevelt’s order for the deportation of Japanese Americans to internment camps.
“Since my early childhood, I have always lived in the past,” Ellroy explains to The Guardian. “Most often the recent past of America, this historical past, it’s what I love, it’s what I am, it’s what I do. My intent with readers is to uproot them from their daily lives and force-feed large swathes of American history and more specifically Los Angeles history. It’s a love of size and scope and density and big emotion, big police investigations, big conspiracies. Everything big.”