Widespread Panic by James Ellroy
A return to the sleazy underbelly of Ellroy’s 1950’s Los Angeles
From The Modern Master of Noir comes a novel about the malevolent monarch of the 1950s Hollywood underground – a tale of pervasive paranoia teeming with communist conspiracies, FBI finks, celebrity smut films and strange bedfellows.
Freddy Otash is the man in the know and the man to know in ’50s L.A. He operates with two simple rules – he’ll do anything but commit murder and he’ll never work with the commies.
Freddy is an ex-L.A. cop on the skids. He snuffed a cop killer in cold blood – and it got to him bad. So Chief William H. Parker canned him. Now he’s a sleazoid private eye, a shakedown artist, a pimp – and, most notably, the head strongarm goon for Confidential magazine. Confidential presaged the idiot internet – and delivered the dirt, the dish, the insidious ink and the scurrilous skank on the feckless foibles of misanthropic movie stars, sex-soiled socialites and potzo politicians. Freaky Freddy outs them all!
In Widespread Panic, we traverse the depths of ’50s L.A. and dig on the inner workings of Confidential. You’ll go to Burt Lancaster’s lushly appointed torture den … You’ll groove overhyped legend James Dean as Freddy’s chief stooge … You’ll be there for Freddy’s ring-a-ding rendezvous with Liz Taylor … You’ll be front and centre as Freddy anoints himself the ‘Tattle Tyrant Who Held Hollywood Hostage’.