Shakedown

The bestselling Ellroy is as artfully depraved as ever in this randy work of fiction about Freddy Otash, the man who whetted our national appetite for sex and scandal in the pages of Confidential.

  • Fiction
  • Byliner Original
  1. Prologue

    Cell 2607

    Penance Penitentiary

    Reckless-Wrecker-of-Lives Block

    Pervert Purgatory

    6/16/2012

    I’ve spent twenty years in this fucking hellhole. Now they tell me I can memoir-map my misadventures and write my way out.

    All that religious shit I disdained as a kid is true. There’s heaven for the good folks, hell for the beastfully baaaaaad. There’s purgatory for guys like me—caustic cads that capitalized on a sick system and caused catastrophe. I’ve pondered my sins for two decades. I’ve relived my earthly transit in dystopian detail. My cunning keepers are currently dangling a deal:

    Record your jaundiced journey, and you may hit heaven on a high note. Baby, it’s time to CONFESS.

    Purgatory is Shitsville. You’re stuck with the body you had on earth when you died. You eat nothing but coach-class airplane food. There’s no booze, no jazzy intrigue, no women. My earthly victims visit my cell unpredictably. They remind me of my misdeeds and jab me in the ass with red-hot pokers. Fags flit down from heaven and scold me for outing them back in the fag-fragging ’50s. Fuck—there’s that limp-wristed lisper Johnnie Ray. The prongs of his pitchfork are white-hot. Johnnie had a righteous run from ’53 to ’56. His record “Cry” sold mega-millions. Confidential cornholed him. The piece was titled “Men’s Room Mishegas: Jittery Johnnie Strikes Again!” Johnnie threatened to sue the magazine. I kicked his ass as a deterrent.

    Fuck, Johnnie—those prongs are hot!!!!! How many times do I have to te...

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