Blood's a Rover (Magill's Literary Annual 2010)
James Ellroy’s novel Blood’s a Rover is the final installment in the author’s Underworld U.S.A. trilogy. The first novel, American Tabloid (1995), covered the abortive American attack on Cuba and the Bay of Pigs crisis in 1963 as well as its aftermath and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The second novel, The Cold Six Thousand (2001), further detailed the interweaving of government agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with organized crime and led up to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blood’s a Rover picks up soon after the end of The Cold Six Thousand, further relating the struggles, both external and internal, of former police officer (and onetime vigilante) Wayne Tedrow and his friend, FBI agent Dwight Holly, from 1968 through 1972.
Stylistically, Blood’s a Rover is similar in cadence to The Cold Six Thousand. Ellroy uses slang and short, choppy sentences with very little setup or description to develop his story; very few paragraphs are longer than three sentences. Ellroy employs the staccato rhythms and beats of everyday speechand particularly the slang of the period covered in the novelto keep the pace of the lengthy, 639-page novel rapid and edgy. While the style can be wearying, it is unique and speaks to Ellroy’s willingness to challenge the tropes of detective fiction, as his plots...
(The entire section is 1656 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!
Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2010)
Booklist 105, no. 19/20 (June 1, 2009): 4.
Economist 392, no. 8649 (September 19, 2009): 98.
Kirkus Reviews 77, no. 15 (August 1, 2009): 46.
Library Journal 134, no. 12 (July 1, 2009): 81.
New Statesman 138, no. 4974 (November 9, 2009): 55-56.
The New York Review of Books 56, no. 16 (October 22, 2009): 50-52.
The New Yorker 85, no. 31 (October 5, 2009): 79.
The Paris Review 190 (Fall, 2009): 37-69.
Publishers Weekly 256, no. 26 (June 29, 2009): 110.
Rolling Stone, October 15, 2009, 60+.
The Times Literary Supplement, October 30, 2009, pp. 19-20.
(The entire section is 52 words.)