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A Bright and Guilty Place: Murder, Corruption, and L.A.'s Scandalous Coming of Age

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A Bright and Guilty Place: Murder, Corruption, and L.A.'s Scandalous Coming of Age Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A captivating chronicle of how the City of Angels lost its soul

Los Angeles was the fastest growing city in the world, mad with oil fever, get-rich-quick schemes, celebrity scandals, and religious fervor. It was also rife with organized crime, with a mayor in the pocket of the syndicates and a DA taking bribes to throw trials. In A Bright and Guilty Place, Richard Rayner narrates the entwined lives of two men, Dave Clark and Leslie White, who were caught up in the crimes, murders, and swindles of the day. Over a few transformative years, as the boom times shaded into the Depression, the adventures of Clark and White would inspire pulp fiction and replace L.A.s reckless optimism with a new cynicism. Together, theirs is the tale of how the city of sunshine got noir.

When A Bright and Guilty Place begins, Leslie White is a naïve young photographer who lands a job as a crime-scene investigator in the L.A. district attorneys office. There he meets Dave Clark, a young, movie-star handsome lawyer and a rising star prosecutor with big ambitions. The cases they tried were some of the first “trials of the century,” starring dark-hearted oil barons, sexually perverse starlets, and hookers with hearts of gold. Los Angeles was in the grip of organized crime, and White was dismayed to see that only the innocent paid while the powerful walked free. But Clark was entranced by L.A.s dangerous lures and lived the high life, marrying a beautiful woman, wearing custom-made suits, yachting with the rich and powerful, and jaunting off to Mexico for gambling and girls. In a shocking twist, when Charlie Crawford, the Al Capone of L.A., was found dead, the chief suspect was none other than golden boy Dave Clark.

A Bright and Guilty Place is narrative nonfiction at its most gripping. Key to the tale are the story of the theft of water from the Owens River Valley that let L.A grow; the Teapot Dome scandal that brought shame to President Harding; and the emergence of crime writers like Raymond Chandler and James M. Cain, who helped mythologize L.A. In Rayners hands, the ballad of Dave Clark is the story of the coming of age of a great American city.

Synopsis:

Best Book of the Year

The Los Angeles TimesThe Washington Post

Los Angeles was the fastest growing city in the world, mad with oil fever, get-rich-quick schemes, and celebrity scandals. It was also rife with organized crime, with a mayor in the pocket of the syndicates and a DA taking bribes to throw trials. In A Bright and Guilty Place, Richard Rayner narrates the entwined lives of two men, Dave Clark and Leslie White, who were caught up in the crimes, murders, and swindles of the day. Over a few transformative years, as the boom times shaded into the Depression, the adventures of Clark and White would inspire pulp fiction and replace L.A.’s reckless optimism with a new cynicism. Together, theirs is the tale of how the city of sunshine went noir.

About the Author

Richard Rayner is the author of Drake’s Fortune, The Cloud Sketcher, The Associates, and several other books.  His writing appears in The New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere.  He lives in Los Angeles.

 

www.brightandguiltyplace.com

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400033584
Author:
Rayner, Richard
Publisher:
Anchor Books
Subject:
United States - State & Local - West
Subject:
United States - 20th Century/20s
Subject:
Murder - General
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
World History-General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20100631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16 PP. BandW PHOTOGRAPHS
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.00x5.30x.62 in. .61 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Americana » California
History and Social Science » Crime » General
History and Social Science » Crime » True Crime
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

A Bright and Guilty Place: Murder, Corruption, and L.A.'s Scandalous Coming of Age Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Anchor Books - English 9781400033584 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Best Book of the Year

The Los Angeles TimesThe Washington Post

Los Angeles was the fastest growing city in the world, mad with oil fever, get-rich-quick schemes, and celebrity scandals. It was also rife with organized crime, with a mayor in the pocket of the syndicates and a DA taking bribes to throw trials. In A Bright and Guilty Place, Richard Rayner narrates the entwined lives of two men, Dave Clark and Leslie White, who were caught up in the crimes, murders, and swindles of the day. Over a few transformative years, as the boom times shaded into the Depression, the adventures of Clark and White would inspire pulp fiction and replace L.A.’s reckless optimism with a new cynicism. Together, theirs is the tale of how the city of sunshine went noir.

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