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Blood's A Rover: American Underworld Trilogy #3    by James Ellroy order for
Blood's A Rover
by James Ellroy
Order:  USA  Can
Vintage, 2010 (2009)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

James Ellroy has done it again. With his new masterpiece, Blood's A Rover, he brings the raw side of life to his readers once more - the raw side that most of us never see or hope never to see. He combines fiction with fact. Or is it fact with fiction? Ellroy intertwines both so brilliantly that one is never sure which is which.

He has chosen the 1960s for this epic. JFK's assassination. RFK's assassination. Martin Luther King's assassination. Hoover's control of the FBI, which left this reader squirming. Corruption. Hit men. Vice. Democratic convention in Chicago. Haight-Ashbury.

A cover quote warns us that 'Violence, greed, and grime are replacing free love and everybody from Howard Hughes, Richard Nixon, and J. Edgar Hoover to right-wing assassins and left-wing revolutionaries are getting dirty.' How did we all live through this?

The plot lines of Blood's A Rover are too comingled to synopsize here. I won't try. I'll simply say that if you are strong enough to read this and then put your light out at night, firm in the belief that your country is under control and you are safe, then you have another think coming.

Corruption and killing seem the norm and we begin to wonder why we aren't getting our share of the booty. This world is one I never knew existed or just chose not to know. I'm not sure. The language in Blood's A Rover is as raw as the content - it soon loses its shock value because there's so much. As I said at the beginning, James Ellroy has done it again!

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