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Literature / The Big Nowhere

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"It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice..."
Joseph Conrad

Los Angeles, 1950.

The city of angels is now the city of the angel of death.

Three detectives with three different angles will be drawn together into a circle of lies and murder. Danny Upshaw is an LA sheriffs detective with a group of bodies that will lead him to find out more about himself than he bargained for. LAPD lieutenant Malcolm "Mal" Considine is locked in a bitter custody battle for his son, whilst being drawn into the corrupt district attorneys plan to route out communists in Hollywood. Turner "Buzz" Meeks, a disgraced former cop, is now working for millionaire Howard Hughes and gangster Mickey Cohen. Buzz may try to right a few his wrongs along the way.

All three men will come together with front row seats to a nightmare...

1988 novel by James Ellroy and the second part of his "L.A. Quartet."


  • Anyone Can Die: By the end of the book both Mal and Danny are dead.
  • Ambition Is Evil: The District Attorney is starting another hunt into communists hidden in Hollywood. He doesn't care if the rumors are true and he is only using the investigation as a means to further his career.
    • Mal joins the investigation into communism. [[spoiler:
  • Artistic License – History: Another murder that was never solved in real life is given a resolution.
  • Body Horror: The Murders in the book are carried out with extreme vengeance and torture.
  • Broken Pedestal: Claire Katherine De Haven is a figure on the Hollywood social circuit and is a communist sympathizer in order to help people in need. she also enabled a known rapist and murderer get away with his crimes.
  • Cowboy Cop: Danny Upshaw and Mal both bend the law when they try to do the right thing.
  • Dirty Cop: Both the LAPD and the LA county sheriffs department are filled with them.
    • Buzz was sacked from the LAPD for this reason.
  • Driven to Suicide: Danny Upshaw in a bid to avert anyone finding out about his homosexuality
  • Gayngst: Danny Upshaw
  • Meaningful Background Event:
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  • Police Brutality: Danny actively beats up men in a bid to find the killer.
  • Politically Correct History: Averted massively.
  • Sliding Scale of Law Enforcement: Danny and Mal are trying to do the right thing. Other cops may vary...
  • The Reveal: Reynolds was the father of the murderer Coleman, he then formed a sexual relationship with him and drove him mad.
  • Turn in Your Badge: Danny Upshaw

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