SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- James Ellroy is an American original of the most profane order. The bestselling author of the noir classics L.A. Confidential, The Black Dahlia, and The Cold Six Thousand, he has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times as "one of the best writers of our era." A self-proclaimed Luddite, Ellroy is turning to technology for the first time with the publication of Shakedown, a novella released today by the digital publisher Byliner. In it, Ellroy is as frenetically depraved as ever, minting an antihero who is a cad for the ages.


Meet Freddy Otash: a corrupt cop turned sleaze hustler, extortionist, pimp, and an actual historical figure who made the 1950s magazine Confidential the go-to source for the sins of the rich and famous. In his prime, Freddy raised hell, and in the pages of Shakedown he finds himself stuck in purgatory—literally—waiting for a transfer to heaven. Will he make it there, or will fate keep him down below? Promised redemption if he confesses his past sins and transgressions, Freddy writes a tell-all peopled by Hollywood greats like Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, and James Dean (to name a few), who are up to all sorts of wrong. Threesomes, foursomes, you name it—anything goes in this licentious world.

Shakedown explodes the postwar America of June and Ward Cleaver, breathing randy new life into the man who whetted our national appetite for sex and scandal. Freddy's lack of scruples—and lack of morality—make today's gossip culture seem almost innocent. What's true and what's fiction? Ellroy's certainly not telling.

About the Author: James Ellroy is the author of the groundbreaking "Underworld USA" trilogy—American Tabloid, The Cold Six Thousand, and Blood's A Rover. His "L.A. Quartet" novels—The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, and White Jazz—were international bestsellers. My Dark Places, a memoir, was a Time Best Book of the Year and a New York Times Notable Book in 1996. 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.

About Byliner: Byliner commissions and publishes original stories written to be read in a single sitting. Bestselling Byliner titles include Amy Tan's Rules for Virgins, Margaret Atwood's Positron, Jon Krakauer's Three Cups of Deceit, Ann Patchett's The Getaway Car, Nick Hornby's Everyone's Reading Bastard, and Buzz Bissinger's After Friday Night Lights. The companion website,, gives readers personalized access to an unmatched library of fiction and nonfiction, handpicked by our editors. On Byliner, readers can discover new writers, explore, save, and share great stories, connect with other readers, and even engage directly with their favorite writers.

Shakedown will be available October 4, 2012, for $1.99 as a Kindle Single at Amazon, a Quick Read at Apple's iBookstore, a Nook Snap at, a Short Read at Kobo, and at Google Play.

SOURCE Byliner