Widespread Panic

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What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

Freddy is an ex-L.A. cop on the skids. He snuffed a cop killer in cold blood – and it got to him bad. Now he’s a sleazoid private eye, a shakedown artist, a pimp – and, most notably, the head strongarm goon for Confidential magazine.

Welcome to the world of the malevolent monarch of the Hollywood underground – a tale of pervasive paranoia teeming with communist conspiracies, FBI finks, celebrity smut films and strange bedfellows.

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’.

Purgatory is rarely this much fun.‘ – Financial Times

© James Ellroy 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2022

Critics Review

  • Unfolds in shimmering Ellroyvision

    The Wall Street Journal
  • Purgatory is rarely this much fun

    Financial Times
  • Like drinking a pint of espresso

  • Extraordinary… Ellroy’s legion of fans will love it

    The Times
  • James Ellroy is the king of macho noir


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