Fred Underhill is a young LAPD cop in the early 1950's. He aspires to make detective fast, faster than anyone else. When his one-night stand ends up a murder victim, he uses his "inside" knowledge she shared with him to get him onto the big guys murder investigation. There he participates in the sweating out of a confession that crosses into brutality. When he tries to take the credit, it blows up in his face and he is kicked out of the force. He runs into another murder that takes him back to the original case. He goes out on his own to investigate and finds a very grim conclusion. The characters are rather unsavory and rather uninteresting in this hardboiled fiction showing the seamier side of both the police and the criminals.
Clandestine / James Ellroy 175 p.