L.A. Noire: The Collected Stories. Mulholland Books, 2011.
L.A. Noire is a collection of short stories all based on the new Rockstar Games video game of the same name. There are some major authors here -- Megan Abbott, Lawrence Block, Joe R. Lansdale, Joyce Carol Oates, Francine Prose, Jonathan Santlofer, Duane Swierczynski, and Andrew Vachss. I’ve read most of these authors before, so I was excited about this collection. All the stories are set in 1947 Los Angeles, the perfect noir setting with movie stars, gangsters, and crimes like the Black Dahlia murder all around.
Most of the stories in L.A. Noire are good, but my favorites were "See the Woman" by Lawrence Block and "Naked Angel" by Joe R. Lansdale. In Block’s story, a retired cop recounts a story of his early days on the force that shows the dark side of being a police officer. Lansdale follow a beat cop as he unravels the truth behind a series of murders and almost ends up a victim himself. Both were wonderful, page-turning stories.
Megan Abbott’s story was a bit too dark for me and there was one other that I couldn’t get through, but, on the whole, L.A. Noire was definitely worth the read. It’s also a brilliant tie-in with the game. I hope it will introduce a brand new audience to these fabulous authors and the noir genre. I would definitely recommend this collection to any noir or mystery fan. L.A. Noire is a quick read that packs quite a punch.