‘About as noir as it can be…excellent’ Frances Fyfield, Daily Telegraph
The city is Los Angeles, the birthplace of the American dream, a city that has come to symbolize both heaven and hell. Billy McGrath is an enigma, half American, half English, who once dreamed of pursuing a career as an academic philosopher, but for the last fifteen years he’s been a homicide detective – one of LA’s best. He knows the rules, and understands a justice system that punishes the underprivileged and lets the rich go free. He’s an unhappy man, divorced from the wife he still adores and separated from a daughter for whom he’d willingly die. If he hasn’t yet thought of suicide, he soon will.
McGrath is called to a crime scene – a woman dead on a kitchen floor in one of the city’s seamiest neighbourhoods, an apparently routine assignment until he discovers that the murdered woman’s son is LA’s biggest crack dealer, an idol of the ghetto who offers him a one-million-dollar bounty for the name of the killer. Making the wrong choice for what might be the right reasons, McGrath initiates both his own fall from grace and, as he strives to redeem himself, a series of wild and furious actions that hurtle him through the many identities of corrupt Los Angeles.
In McGrath, Rayner has created a sympathetic everyman who becomes both victim and victor. Set against a bleak cityscape, Murder Book is a dark, violent and sexy thriller that is impossible to put down.
‘This is a masterpiece… Unputdownable’
‘Exciting and satisfyingly complex’
‘Complex, engrossing… an impressive first foray into the genre’
‘As good as Chris Petit’s The Psalm Killer, far better than Martin Amis’s Night Train, this is a book which defies outside distractions’
About the author
Richard Rayner was born in Yorkshire, and educated in North Wales and Cambridge. He is the author of LA Without a Map, and writes for Granta, New York Times and Harper’s Bazaar. He lives in Los Angeles.