Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Planning to kick start 2015 with...

Some blogs I follow are talking about which books they plan to be reading on 1 January 2015; the parameters being you have to either start the book on the first day of the new year or be reading it already when the yearly calendar starts afresh. 

This is something I haven't given much thought to in years gone by as I tend to roll over my reading from the previous year into the next, Goodreads Challenge aside. But it's an interesting concept; one that got me thinking a fair bit as to how I want to start my reading in 2015. 

I decided on starting 2015 with PERFIDIA by James Ellroy. 

My reasons? It's a huge book with loads of characters (my edition clocks in at 720pgs) that sounds interesting and involved - a multifaceted crime read that explores the underbelly of America. I had intended to read it this year but other reads got in the way. I love Ellroy's style and want to start the new year with a deep crime novel and this fits the bill - despite some mixed reviews...

PerfidiaPERFIDIA by James Ellroy (published 2014)

It is December 6 1941. America stands at the brink of World War II. Last hopes for peace are shattered when Japanese squadrons bomb Pearl Harbor. Los Angeles has been a haven for loyal Japanese-Americans - but now, war fever and race hate grip the city and the Japanese internment begins. The hellish murder of a Japanese family summons three men and one woman. William H. Parker is a captain on the Los Angeles Police. He's superbly gifted, corrosively ambitious, liquored-up and consumed by dubious ideology. He is bitterly at odds with Sergeant Dudley Smith - Irish emigre, ex-IRA killer, fledgling war profiteer. Kay Lake is a 21-year-old dilettante looking for adventure. Hideo Ashida is a police chemist and the only Japanese on the L.A. cop payroll. The investigation throws them together and rips them apart. The crime becomes a political storm centre that brilliantly illuminates these four driven souls - comrades, rivals, lovers, history's pawns. Perfidia is a novel of astonishments. It is World War II as you have never seen it, and Los Angeles as James Ellroy has never written it before. Here, he gives us the party at the edge of the abyss and the precipice of America's ascendance. Perfidia is that moment, spellbindingly captured. It beckons us to solve a great crime that, in its turn, explicates the crime of war itself. It is a great American novel. 

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