A Bright and Guilty Place by Richard Rayner
“This is narrative nonfiction at its best: meticulously researched, deftly drawn, and more compelling than anything the imagination might dare to conjure.” —Karen Abbot, author of Sin in the Second City
Los Angeles was the fastest growing city in the world, mad with oil fever, get-rich-quick schemes, celebrity scandals, and religious fervor. It was also rife with organized crime, with a mayor in the pocket of the syndicates and a DA taking bribes to throw trials. In A Bright and Guilty Place, Richard Rayner narrates the entwined lives of two men, Dave Clark and Leslie White, who were caught up in the crimes, murders, and swindles of the day. Over a few transformative years, as the boom times shaded into the Depression, the adventures of Clark and White would inspire pulp fiction and replace L.A.’s reckless optimism with a new cynicism. Together, theirs is the tale of how the city of sunshine got noir.
Visit brightandguiltyplace.com to read an interview with the author, learn more about the roaring 20’s, and more.
Richard Rayner is the author of Drake’s Fortune, The Cloud Sketcher, The Associates, and several other books. His writing appears in The New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere. He lives in Los Angeles. Read articles Rayner has written, relating to Los Angeles and A Bright and Guilty Place.