"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Beall's hard-edged debut explores the familiar territory of drugs and corruption on the mean streets of South Central Los Angeles. In scenes that alternate between the past and the present, rookie police officer Ben Halloran, who's partnered with tough veteran Miguel Marquez, struggles to conceal his secret affiliation with a ganglord, even as the pair probe a series of murders. Beall, himself an officer in the LAPD's 77th Division, writes what he knows, but loads of pointless, gory violence (including gougings and mutilations), some awkward prose ('The party was Carcosa's schizophrenic attempt to reconcile his criminal origins with the propriety of a Mexican tradition'), improbable plot elements (thugs who quote Macbeth) and a lack of redeeming characters limit this one's appeal. Author tour. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Philadelphia Inquirer,
"[B]rutal and dynamic....L.A. Rex reads like a combination of Joseph Wambaugh and Tom Wolfe....In the end, all you can do is applaud Beall's audacity and keep flipping pages as fast as your eyes will carry you."
by Library Journal,
"There are some graphically violent scenes, but they serve to enhance what is already a gritty tale. The story itself isn't overly compelling, but Ben is likable enough, and events come together nicely."
"The pace is breathtaking, the dialogue snappy and street-savvy. Beall brings an insider's sense of authenticity to the book, as he serves as a police officer in the aforementioned 77th Division."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"By an L.A. cop about L.A. cops, a debut novel that could use a warning label: Strong Stomach Mandatory....Beall,still a working cop, is also a talented writer, but this is ugly stuff."
by New York Times Book Review,
"A kind of crime fighter's bildungsroman....It's hard to imagine a better training ground for crime writing than police work."
by Entertainment World,
"Harkening back to the crackling prose and gimlet political eye of Wambaugh, and the underworld No Beast So Fierce veracity of Edward Bunker, Beall delivers a fantastic debut novel...one of the top novels of 2006."
by Los Angeles Times,
"One hopes that in future books Beall finds a way to balance his obvious zeal for the genre and crime fighting with the careful interplay of character, plot and theme found in the best writing of Connelly, Wambaugh and others."
This is a fierce and ferocious debut set in South Central Los Angeles, that recalls both Richard Price and James Ellroy, written by an LAPD antigang officer who continues to patrol the streets he writes about.
A gritty and ferocious novel written by Will Beall, an LAPD officer who continues to patrol the streets he writes about. L.A. Rex is the story of Ben Halloran, a seemingly fresh-faced rookie assigned to the 77th Division, L.A.'s most violent precinct, still reeling from the Rodney King riots. Partnered with old-school cop Miguel Marquez, the two plunge fast and deep into the city's burgeoning gang war—and it soon becomes clear that they won't be able to emerge again unless Ben faces the demons he's running from once and for all. Bristling with the energy and authenticity of the author's experiences as a working policeman in South Central L.A., this is a literary thriller that doesn't just unfold. It explodes.
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