The Lloyd Hopkins trilogy is a dark, and at times, disturbing collection of crime noir fiction that takes the reader on a journey through the seedy LA underbelly and the corrupt blue line of justice. The series protagonist is tainted yet redeemable, his adversaries, formidable; these characteristic aspects form key elements to the trilogy. In a rarity for me, I read all three books back-to-back, whereas usually I'll take some time in-between delving into different books by other authors. I'm glad I 'red-lined' L.A. Noir.
BLOOD ON THE MOON
(Crime / Lloyd Hopkins Trilogy #1)
A dark and multi-faceted crime noir that oozes Ellroy; elaborate crimes and a deadly depiction of humanity lay the foundation for novel driven by sex and death. Ellroy's characters really come to life in BLOOD ON THE MOON but none more than the protagonist. Det. Sgt. Lloyd Hopkins is not a nice man; his moral compass is skewed, his sense of right and wrong often blur into one another yet he's got a bullish determination to protect the innocent (particularly woman) - it's this tainted view point to the LA Noir trilogy's first book that paints the protagonist in such an interesting way that you cant help but want to read to see how Hopkins' train-wreck personality pans out. BLOOD ON THE MOON is captivating and a true page turner.
BECAUSE THE NIGHT
(Crime / Lloyd Hopkins Trilogy #2)
Had a 'villain of the month' flavor with series protagonist Det Sgt Lloyd Hopkins squaring off against a manipulative criminal mastermind with a penchant to kill by proxy. Weaving a complex game of cat and mouse, Ellroy layers the depravity in a densely woven tale that is all about the crime and little about Hopkins - a far cry from the previous book, BLOOD ON THE MOON. More enjoyable if you're familiar with the series, but still serviceable if you're jumping into the L.A. Noir series at book 2. BLOOD ON THE MOON is a very good read that resonates long after the story ends.
(Crime / Lloyd Hopkins Trilogy #3)
In SUICIDE HILL, James Ellroy puts the emphasis on a wayward bank robber and his delusional dream of converting a junkie into a rock star prone to tricking to feed her habit, rather than the tainted series protagonist Lloyd Hopkins which gives the last installment in the Lloyd Hopkins trilogy a distinctly unique feel to its predecessors. Hopkins, is once again a man on a mission to deliver justice by any means. His sense of right and wrong, while slightly warped add an air of unpredictability to the book which is a stable in this highly readable noir trilogy. The story is sorrid, bloody, and complex in both a police procedural and psychological sense. What else would you expect from James Ellroy?