Summary and book reviews of The Cold Six Thousand by James Ellroy

The Cold Six Thousand

by James Ellroy

The Cold Six Thousand
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  • First Published:
    May 2001, 688 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2002, 688 pages

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Book Summary

His most ambitious and explosive novel yet, Ellroy puts the whole of the 1960s under his blistering lens. The result is a work of fierce, epic fiction, a speedball through our most tumultuous time.

The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, White Jazz, American Tabloid... James Ellroy's high-velocity, best-selling novels have redefined noir for our age, propelling us within inches of the dark realities of America's recent history. Now, in The Cold Six Thousand, his most ambitious and explosive novel yet, he puts the whole of the 1960s under his blistering lens. The result is a work of fierce, epic fiction, a speedball through our most tumultuous time.

It begins in Dallas. November 22, 1963. The heart of the American Dream detonated.

Wayne Tedrow Jr., a young Vegas cop, arrives with a loathsome job to do. He's got $6,000 in cash and no idea that he is about to plunge into the cover-up conspiracy already brewing around Kennedy's assassination, no idea that this will mark the beginning of a hellish five-year ride through the private underbelly of public policy.

Ellroy's furiously paced narrative tracks Tedrow's ride: Dallas back to Vegas, with the Mob and Howard Hughes, south with the Klan and J. Edgar Hoover, shipping out to Vietnam and returning home, the bearer of white powder, plotting new deaths as 1968 approaches ...


Tedrow stands witness, as the icons of an iconic era mingle with cops, killers, hoods, and provocateurs. His story is ground zero in Ellroy's stunning vision: historical confluence as American Nightmare.

The Cold Six Thousand is a masterpiece.

PART 1
EXTRADITION
November 22-25, 1963

Chapter 1
Wayne Tedrow Jr.
(Dallas, 112263)

They sent him to Dallas to kill a nigger pimp named Wendell Durfee. He wasn't sure he could do it.

The Casino Operators Council flew him. They supplied first-class fare. They tapped their slush fund. They greased him. They fed him six cold.

Nobody said it:

Kill that coon. Do it good. Take our hit fee.

The flight ran smooth. A stew served drinks. She saw his gun. She played up. She asked dumb questions.

He said he worked Vegas PD. He ran the intel squad. He built files and logged information.

She loved it. She swooned.

"Hon, what you doin' in Dallas?"

He told her.

A Negro shivved a twenty-one dealer. The dealer lost an eye. The Negro booked to Big D. She loved it. She brought him highballs. He omitted details.

The dealer provoked the attack. The council issued the contract-death for ADW Two.

The preflight pep talk. Lieutenant Buddy Fritsch:

"I don&#...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Playboy

[A] mesmerizing nightmare of gangdom's power and glory....With riveting style and substance, Cold Six is Ellroy's biggest score.

Library Journal

... readable yet complex in its character development and critical examination of U.S. public policy. Like most of Ellroy's works among them L.A. Confidential and The Crime Wave it is graphic in its description of violence and should be reserved for a mature audience

Kirkus Reviews

A chilling tapestry of fact and fiction, an exhilarating read, and an informed, deeply disturbing speculation regarding the ties between criminals and America's shadow government.

Reader Reviews

bunny rabbit

it's a really cool book, the story has a fast pace, there are a lot of funny elements in the book, like jew-nited states. there are also a couple pieces that are a bit boring, but generally i liked it.
There are some surprising things like to find out...   Read More

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