It intricately tracks the cases and efforts of the police over a half decade. The case load revolves around a particularly bloody murder at a corner diner. The central characters are all police. These characters are named Jack Vincenenes, Ed Exley, and Bud White. These characters have a number of conflicts but are forced to find common ground and work to solve the horrific mass killing. Ellroy spins a tale of blood, guts, narcotics, and even organized crime. No one is immune from the illegal temptations including the police, celebrities, and public officials.
Ellroy is no stranger to publishing success. He believes that he is the "greatest crime fiction author that every lived". He uses a number of literary techniques which do not always translate well to the silver screen. These literary devices include intense dialogue, brevity in speech, extremely interwoven plots, and violence. He makes it a point, in this novel, not to be politically correct. The term politically correct did not even exist in the 1950s. Almost all his novels, L.A. Confidential included, has racial slurs, and vulgar ethnics insults. It is unclear if, through his writing, he is encouraging this negative behavior or making a statement against it.
Ellroy's life, in some ways, has paralleled the plot of one of his crime novels. His mother was brutally killed in the late 1950s when he was just a child. Many critics believe that this has inspired his writing style and viewpoint. He was a rampant users of narcotics and alcohol. He turned to a life a crime and the tracking of his mother, which he accounts in My Dark Places, which is said to be biographical. Ellroy has described himself as " 49-year-old white man, basically conservative in temperament. I am Protestant to the core. And I would rather err on the side of authority. I respect cops much more than I dislike them.... And I understand the passion of men who need to impose authority on other people because their inner lives are chaotic." He added, "My guys are the toadies of the fascist system. To me, that's crime fiction in the twentieth century."
Ellroy has a very aggressive and brief writing style which breathes life into his novels. This stylish writing is lost in the processes of making a movie. Certainly, in the making of the movie, L.A. Confidential, Ellroy's style is non-existent. An representative excerpt from the L.A. Confidential follows: "Cops shoved cell to cell. Elmer Lentz, splattered, grinning. Jack Vincennes by the watch commander's office--Lieutenant Frieling snoring at his desk. Bud [White] stormed into it. He caught elbows going in; the men saw who it was and cleared a path. Stens slipped into 3; Bud pushed in. Dick was working a skinny pachuco--head saps--the kid on his knees, catching teeth. Bud grabbed Stensland; the Mex spat blood. 'Heey, Mister White. I knowww you, puto. You beat up my frien' Caldo 'cause he whipped his puto wife. She was a fuckin' hooer, pendejo. Ain' you got no fuckin' brains' Bud let Stens go; the Mex gave him the finger. Bud kicked him prone, picked him up by the neck. Cheers, attaboys, holy fucks. Bud banged the punk's head on the ceiling..."
Ellroy, on the other hand, loves nothing so much as a sadistic police beating. Hausladen, in "L.A. Noir." Journal of Cultural Geography, explains "While he devotes countless pages of his books to the methods, thinking and somewhat