Ask a bookseller

Ask a Bookseller: LA crime fiction at its best 

A book cover titled "Everybody Knows"
"Everybody Knows" by Jordan Harper
Mulholland Books

Patrick Millikin is a bookseller at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona, which specializes in mysteries, and the crime novel he’s been waiting for finally hit the shelves this month. It’s “Everybody Knows” by Edgar award-winning author Jordan Harper. 

“Jordan’s one of the first L.A. crime novelists that I've read… who really captures the zeitgeist of what's going on right now,” raves Millikin, agreeing that this sprawling L.A. novel is deserving of its impressive buzz.

The novel follows Mae Pruett, a black bag publicist who’s well paid to keep the bad news about her big-name clients from getting out to the public. She works for The Beast, a collection of lawyers, publicists, and private security, all devoted to keeping the scandals of Hollywood stars and big players under wraps.

It's a scene where starry-eyed ingenues are led astray, and a string of arsons is taking place in homeless encampments across the city, lending an apocalyptic feel to the book. When Mae’s boss is killed, she suspects murder, and she teams up with her ex-boyfriend, a disgraced cop, on an investigation that will uncover still more dark secrets.

Jordan wrote a television adaptation of James Ellroy’s L.A. Confidential, and Millikan says this novel, like Ellroy’s work, offers “that very sort of complicated, sort of almost Baroque sense where, just when you think it couldn't get any darker or more depraved, he'll peel back another layer.”