By Grant Fieldgrove

Whereas on holiday together with his kin, Archie witnesses a homicide that no-one turns out to think really occurred. With the suspect being a recognized Hollywood famous person and a corpse that has been dragged into the sea, now not even the neighborhood police are prepared to aid.

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At the same time, the 32 • The Big Nowhere costume, with its “tough leather goods and all,” suggests something truthful about Upshaw. When Upshaw visits Felix Gordean in an outfit that is “Krugman, but a cop” (234), Gordean slyly mocks Upshaw’s attempt to maintain his heterosexual “cop” persona: “I’m sure you’ve got a nice family. A wife or a girlfriend ... ” (240). ” Initially, this is an investigative technique that “involved screening details from the perpetrator’s point of view” (81). As the Man Camera, Upshaw re-creates crime scenes as movie scenes; his eyes becoming “a lens capable of zooming in and out, freezing close-ups, selecting background motifs” (81).

Loftis quickly adopts Healy into his circle, pays for plastic surgery to disguise Healy’s identity, and then seduces Healy only to ultimately reject him once more. Later, when Healy decides to avenge himself upon his father, he emulates the violence of the wolverines, creatures whose ferocious savagery he has come to admire. He fashions a set of wolverine teeth and brutally attacks his father’s old lovers. However, as he does so, he attempts to frame Loftis by disguising himself as Loftis. The plan suggests how much Healy both hates and loves his father, and Healy’s animal-like rage mirrors the psychic violence he has suffered.

The Badge (Webb) Authored by Jack Webb in 1958, the star and producer of radio and TV’s Dragnet, this recounting of the day-to-day life of the LAPD had a great influence on Ellroy. Each chapter of The 24 • Baker, Frederick “Fat Dog” Badge profiles a different officer, from the patrolman on the beat, “The Captain,” and “the Inspector” to the members of the Police Commission. The tone of Webb’s books echoes that of Dragnet itself, mixing the mundane, sometimes thankless drudgery of police work with hardwon heroics and humble stoicism.

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