Clay is a successful screenwriter, middle-aged and disaffected; he’s in LA to cast his new movie. However, this trip is anything other than professional, and he’s soon drifting through a louche and long-familiar circle – a world largely populated by the band of infamous teenagers first introduced in Bret Easton Ellis's first novel Less Than Zero. After a meeting with a gorgeous but talentless actress determined to win a role in his movie, Clay finds himself connected with Kelly Montrose, a producer whose gruesomely violent death is suddenly very much the talk of the town.
Imperial Bedrooms follows Clay as his debauched reverie is interrupted by a violent plot for revenge and his seemingly endless proclivity for betrayal and exploitation looks set to land him somewhere darker and more ominous than ever before.
A murder mystery – a woozy, paranoid, hallucinatory version of LA noir.
Brilliantly written and coolly self-aware . . . Here, as in Less Than Zero, Ellis is plumbing the depths of human nature, exposing it at its worst.
The novel is a kind of modern noir and, as in Chandler, the form’s accepted master, atmosphere is king. Paranoia prevails.
Independent on Sunday