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Apocalypse Noir: HELEN KNODE in conversation with JAMES ELLROY about her novel WILDCAT PLAY

Helen KnodeJames Ellroy

Wildcat Play (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Acclaimed novelist Helen Knode will discuss her new thriller Wildcat Play with her ex-husband and crime fiction writer extraordinaire James Ellroy.

Praise for Wildcat Play:
"I fell in love with the people, the place and most of all the words." —Michael Connelly 

"Drawing on her family's history in oil exploration, Helen Knode has created a riveting mystery that blends elements of Upton Sinclair and There Will Be Blood with a hard-edged heroine who isn't afraid to get grease under her fingernails. Best of all, Wildcat Play explores the literary terra incognita of East-Central California, a land of transplanted Okie roughnecks, blue-collar millionaires, wildcat rigs and the scheming, double-crossing and murder that seethes beneath the placid surface." —Denise Hamilton, author of Damage Control and the Eve Diamond mystery series 

Helen Knode put her experiences as a staff writer and film critic for the L.A. Weekly into her first novel, The Ticket Out. She was born in Calgary, Alberta, heart of the Canadian oil business, and Knodes have worked in oil since the nineteenth century, a history that inspired Wildcat Play. She lives in Austin, Texas.

James Ellroy was born in Los Angeles in 1948. His L.A. Quartet novels—The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, and White Jazz—were international bestsellers. His novel American Tabloid was Time magazine's Best Book (fiction) of 1995; his memoir, My Dark Places, was a Time Best Book of the Year and a New York Times Notable Book for 1996. His novel The Cold Six Thousand was a New York Times Notable Book and a Los Angeles Times Best Book for 2001. Ellroy lives in Los Angeles.

Photo of James Ellroy by Franny Freeman.


Event date: 
Wednesday, May 2, 2012 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
90027 Los Angeles
Wildcat Play: A Mystery Cover Image
ISBN: 9780151004294
Availability: Special Order
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) - April 24th, 2012

a hipster movie critic, Ann Whitehead pushed a Hollywood murder case to
a bloody climax and almost died herself. Changed forever--less stupid
and more fun--she has moved on to a place she knows well--the San
Joaquin Valley, where her grandfather's closest friend, Joe Balch, owns
the oil company that keeps one town alive. 

gets Ann a job with the Oklahoma company drilling his wildcat well.
It's hard work, but Ann loves both it and her crusty old boss, Emmet.
Then a guy on her crew is killed by a falling hammer. Sheriffs rule it
an accident but Ann's LAPD squeeze, Detective Doug Lockwood, says it's
murder. Ann can't resist the challenge of chasing a killer -- and then
the killer starts chasing her back...

From a writer whose first novel was praised as "highly literate, exceptionally action-packed and occasionally harrowing" (Chicago Tribune),
this is a wild ride -- full of bad behavior and laughs, oilfield
characters and small-town atmosphere -- starring a heroine who never
does anything halfway.


The Ticket Out Cover Image
ISBN: 9780156029056
Availability: Special Order
Published: Mariner Books - January 1st, 2004

Blood's a Rover Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375727412
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Books USA - August 24th, 2010

The Cold Six Thousand: Underworld USA 2 Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375727405
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Vintage - June 11th, 2002

American Tabloid: Underworld USA (1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375727375
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - April 24th, 2001

White Jazz Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375727368
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Vintage - April 24th, 2001

L.A. Confidential Cover Image
ISBN: 9780446674249
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Warner Books (NY) - September 1997

The Big Nowhere Cover Image
ISBN: 9780446674379
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - May 1998

The Black Dahlia Cover Image
ISBN: 9780446698870
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mysterious Press - August 2006

The Hilliker Curse Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307477392
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Vintage - September 6th, 2011

My Dark Places Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679762058
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Books - August 19th, 1997