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L. A. Rex

L. A. Rex

4.0 6
by Will Beall

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A gritty and ferocious novel written by Will Beall, an LAPD officer who continues to patrol the streets he writes about. L.A. Rex is the story of Ben Halloran, a seemingly fresh-faced rookie assigned to the 77th Division, L.A.'s most violent precinct, still reeling from the Rodney King riots. Partnered with old-school cop Miguel Marquez, the two


A gritty and ferocious novel written by Will Beall, an LAPD officer who continues to patrol the streets he writes about. L.A. Rex is the story of Ben Halloran, a seemingly fresh-faced rookie assigned to the 77th Division, L.A.'s most violent precinct, still reeling from the Rodney King riots. Partnered with old-school cop Miguel Marquez, the two plunge fast and deep into the city's burgeoning gang war—and it soon becomes clear that they won't be able to emerge again unless Ben faces the demons he's running from once and for all. Bristling with the energy and authenticity of the author's experiences as a working policeman in South Central L.A., this is a literary thriller that doesn't just unfold. It explodes.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"L.A. Rex is a stunning debut. A gritty tale dripping with truth—it could only have come from a writer who has lived the life."—Michael Connelly

"L.A. Rex is to the twenty-first century noir thriller what Apocalypse Now was to the twentieth-century war movies: vivid, powerful, imaginative, unique."—Joseph Wambaugh

"A brutal and dynamic novel about patrolling the City of Angels in the post-Rodney King era. L.A. Rex reads like a combination of Joseph Wambaugh and Tom Wolfe."—The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Has the crackle and spark of what one could easily imagine was life on the streets in 1998 Los Angeles, a city still on edge after the Rodney King riots...Beall excels at painting a slang-rich world of cops and criminals."—Los Angeles Times

"A kind of crime fighter's bildungsroman...It's hard to imagine a better training ground for crime writing than police work."—The New York Times Book Review

"Will Beall is as tough as they come, and L.A. Rex is really good in all the right ways. It is intelligent, powerfully written, and pulses with raw authenticity."—Robert B. Parker

Publishers Weekly
Beall's hard-edged debut explores the familiar territory of drugs and corruption on the mean streets of South Central Los Angeles. In scenes that alternate between the past and the present, rookie police officer Ben Halloran, who's partnered with tough veteran Miguel Marquez, struggles to conceal his secret affiliation with a ganglord, even as the pair probe a series of murders. Beall, himself an officer in the LAPD's 77th Division, writes what he knows, but loads of pointless, gory violence (including gougings and mutilations), some awkward prose ("The party was Carcosa's schizophrenic attempt to reconcile his criminal origins with the propriety of a Mexican tradition"), improbable plot elements (thugs who quote Macbeth) and a lack of redeeming characters limit this one's appeal. Author tour. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Beall, a Los Angeles police officer, has written a fairly interesting debut crime novel that mixes sequences of past and present to tell its story. Ben Halloran is a new LAPD cop with a complicated, unsavory history that threatens to catch up with him. When he is paired with principled veteran Miguel Marquez, the two are drawn into the violent and dishonest world of gangsta rap. Through the effective use of back stories, Beall reveals his characters' motivations. There are some graphically violent scenes, but they serve to enhance what is already a gritty tale. The story itself isn't overly compelling, but Ben is likable enough, and events come together nicely. A good purchase for medium or large crime fiction collections in public libraries.-Craig Shufelt, Fort McMurray P.L., Alta. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
By an L.A. cop about L.A. cops, a debut novel that could use a warning label: Strong Stomach Mandatory. The sign in the 77th Precinct (South Central L.A.) reads "Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here," and as young Ben Halloran takes his seat with the other "pimply probationers" (recent Police Academy grads), he acknowledges to himself that he's rattled. It's a condition that intensifies when he learns he's partnered with living legend Miguel Marquez, an officer to whom hard was a way station en route to impervious. But to the surprise of both, they bond, discovering in each other a kinship of character that sets them apart from most of their brothers. Ben does have his secrets, however. His name isn't really Halloran, for one thing-it's Kahn; and he's the only son of the most flamboyant, most successful, least popular defense lawyer in the city-ask any of the cops he's sweated during the course of a long and largely unprincipled career. Ben doesn't much like his father, which is one reason he's chosen to go incognito; another has to do with his tangled relationships in the world of gangbangers and gangsta-rappers-that dangerous, ultra-violent world where "applied treachery" is a self-taught survival skill. Ben has roots in it, old loyalties that both protect and ensnare, and that he struggles to be free of. In the meantime, not unlike knights-errant, Ben and Marquez sortie out from the 77th, daily, contending with dragons and ogres-druggies and stone killers-until at last Ben earns Marquez's ultimate accolade: "You're a cop now, Ben. . . . And I think, maybe, that's a little like being a Catholic, you can't get shorn of it."Murder, torture, dismemberment in gratuitous profusion: Beall,still a working cop, is also a talented writer, but this is ugly stuff. Film rights to Scott Rudin Productions

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.15(w) x 7.94(h) x 1.03(d)
Age Range:
18 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Will Beall is an officer in the LAPD's 77th Division, which covers South Central Los Angeles.

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L. A. Rex 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mochinushi More than 1 year ago
I found his book while searching for good thriller. Although, I was a little skeptical at first because I have never heard of the author, I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. The story is very well written and has kept me captivated from the first few pages. This is my first book review so I am a little hesitant about going into the plot for fear of ruining a great book. All I can tell you is that this is a good read you will not be disappointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Grabbed this book in my local library. This is better than the majority of the stuff I read. I highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was highly entertained by this book. It is a very fast read, and I didnt want it to end. This book can be very violent, but it takes place in a very violent world. The author knows what he is talking about, and tells things like it is. If you are a politically correct person, steer clear of this book. If you like good action and want a peek into a world as foreign as the moon, read this book. The characters are great, especially Marquez, his story is heroic and heartbreaking. The back and forth story telling was great, and explained the backstories perfectly. Read this book, it is one entertaining read. I cant wait for the movie.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
A number of crime novels set on the mean streets of South Central L.A. have been written, however few stun with the authenticity of Will Beall's debut L.A. Rex. An officer in the 77th division of the Los Angeles Police Department, this author has seen and felt it all. His firsthand impressions and visceral reactions sear throughout the pages. Adding to the authenticity is, of course, the narration by film/television/stage actor Dan Oreskes. His voice is deep, husky, commanding. It is rich in timbre, a voice that one could imagine playing the part of a patrician, but here what comes through is toughness, strength. He brings a heard-it-all, seen-it-all tone to this not for the weak of heart story. There's a roll call room at the LAPD's 77th division that houses a plaque reading 'Abandon all hope ye who enter here.' Rookie cop Ben Halloran doesn't seem to take note of the warning nor do other officers take note of him. Apparently, he's just clean, scrubbed and brand new with shiny shoes and pressed shirt ready to right the wrongs of the world. However, looks can be deceiving and there's more to Ben than meets the eye. He's partnered with an experienced officer Miguel Marquez to do battle with the city's bloody and burgeoning gang war. Every sort of sleazy character is on the streets of South Central from relentless killers to rapists to unethical lawyers to drug dealers to cops on the pay. Before long Ben is faced with some tough decisions - the most important one being how to stay alive. - Gail Cooke