The Cold Six Thousand
Underworld USA 2
By James Ellroy
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375727405, 688pp.)
Publication Date: June 11, 2002
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In this savagely audacious novel, James Ellroy plants a pipe bomb under the America in the 1960s, lights the fuse, and watches the shrapnel fly. On November 22, 1963 three men converge in Dallas. Their job: to clean up the JFK hit’s loose ends and inconvenient witnesses. They are Wayne Tedrow, Jr., a Las Vegas cop with family ties to the lunatic right; Ward J. Littell, a defrocked FBI man turned underworld mouthpiece; and Pete Bondurant, a dope-runner and hit-man who serves as the mob’s emissary to the anti-Castro underground.
It goes bad from there. For the next five years these night-riders run a whirlwind of plots and counter-plots: Howard Hughes’s takeover of Vegas, J. Edgar Hoover’s war against the civil rights movement, the heroin trade in Vietnam, and the murders of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy. Wilder than L. A. Confidential, more devastating than American Tabloid, The Cold Six Thousand establishes Ellroy as one of our most fearless novelists.
James Ellroy lives in Kansas City.
“Ellroy rips into American culture like a chainsaw in an abbatoir. . . . Pick it up if you dare; put it down if you can.” –Time
“A wild ride. . . . An American political underbelly teeming with conspiracy and crime. . . . So hard-boiled you could chip a tooth on it.” –The New York Times Book Review
“A ripping read....the book is pure testosterone.” –The Plain Dealer
“A great and terrible book about a great and terrible time in America.” –The Village Voice