Return to LA Confidential: Widespread Panic, by James Ellroy, reviewed

Even by James Ellroy’s standards, the narrator of his latest novel is not a man much given to the quiet life. Freddy Otash breaks legs for Frank Sinatra. He gets Dean Martin’s pregnant Latina maid deported. He sticks the hand of someone blackmailing Liberace into a deep-fat fryer. He sleeps with the 21-year-old Elizabeth Taylor while she’s only on her second marriage. And all that’s in the first 20 pages, while Otash is still an LA cop. Once he goes freelance as a private eye, things turn rather more lurid. Widespread Panic is a rare stand-alone novel among Ellroy’s assorted trilogies and quartets. But, as you can maybe tell already,