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Elmore Leonard meets Denis Johnson in this explosive first novel set on the seedy side of Southern California.
Ex-marine Jimmy Boone-former bodyguard to Los Angeles's rich and famous-is fresh out of Corcoran, on parole, and trying to keep his nose clean until he figures out his next move. He has a job tending bar on Hollywood Boulevard, serving drinks to tourists, and is determined to put the past behind him.
But trying to do the right thing has always been Boone's downfall. When he backs up a buddy on a hero-for-hire gig looking into the mysterious death of a kid on a downtown bus he once again finds himself in a world of trouble.
As Boone learns more about the boy, an innocent who got involved with the wrong people, his investigation becomes a mission. Along the dangerous margins of Los Angeles, he encounters down-on-their-luck drug dealers, a vengeful stripper, a dog-fighting ring, a beautiful ex-cop, a vicious crime boss and his crew, and a fortune in counterfeit bills. Before long, Boone realizes that his quest to get at the truth about a ruthless murder may also turn out to be his last chance at redemption.
This Wicked World is a knock-out blend of superb writing and breakneck storytelling that grabs you by the collar and makes it impossible to stop reading.
Richard Lange is the author of the story collections Dead Boys and Sweet Nothing and the novels This Wicked World and Angel Baby. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the International Association of Crime Writers' Hammett Prize, and the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Los Angeles.