The first story, “The Girl,” details the LA Noire character June Ballard, who is drugged at a very unwholesome Hollywood party. Megan Abbott’s clipped sentences evoke the old style of noir, and you are immediately immersed into June’s world as a struggling actress, trying to make it in this cutthroat business. We’re incredibly excited about Abbott’s highly-anticipated new novel, The End of Everything, which comes out next month. The setting is the Midwestern suburbs; a 13-year-old girl’s best friend mysteriously disappears, and terrible secrets come to light in the hunt for her possible kidnapper.
In Lawrence Block‘s “See the Woman” an ex-cop recounts his experience witnessing the aftermath of a bloody domestic abuse case with his partner, Lew, who is shaken up by what they see.
“Naked Angel” by Joe R. Lansdale brings in LA Noire detective Rusty Galloway to solve the case of a woman found in an alleyway, frozen in a large block of ice. Whodunnit? Jealousies abound in this payback tale.
Joyce Carol Oates tackles the back story of the Black Dahlia murder, this time with a young Norma Jeane Baker (aka Marilyn Monroe) involved. Elizabeth Short’s stream of consciousness narration closely links her to Monroe — if the cards were different, perhaps Short would be the star, and Monroe would be “flung into the pits of Hell.”
In this story by Francine Prose, the year is 1947 and a down on his luck star turns to a low-budget noir director to give him a break in his upcoming film. The instructions: “Just kill the dame and pick up your check.”
In Jonathan Santlofer’s story, “What’s in a Name,” we get into the mind of a psychopath as he recounts the women in tight, cheap, rayon sweaters who have hurt him in the past. Once rejected, they always get their blood all over his upholstery, just ruining it. He can never get a break, can he?
In “Hell of an Affair” by Duane Sweirczynski, we trail LA Noire character William Shelton into Ray’s Cafe. Shelton is a professional land surveyor: “clean, sober, and deadly accurate.” But when he meets a good looking waitress at Ray’s, he agrees to a date that changes the course of his life forever.
In this last story, “Postwar Boom,” Andrew Vachss presents us with two tough, racist World War II vets who are driving cross-country, on their way to make a hit for their new boss. Vachss brings to life two roughnecks who are still plagued by what they saw abroad as they wax philosophically about race war.
All artwork created by Rockstar Games.