There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
– apocryphal, Ernest Hemingway
The Lloyd Hopkins trilogy is not Lee Earle ‘James’ Ellroy’s first work, nor his best. But I can see that he sat his typewriter and bled to produce it. Perhaps he just didn’t bleed quite enough. It seems that Hopkins is Ellroy’s fictional alter ego: tall, energetic, nervy, intuitive. A genius cop who breaks all the rules. A womaniser who ruins his marriage that way. A dark past that hovers over him.