You might wonder how anyone could write publicly about such a brutal murder of his own mother and investigate the case, unflinchingly, with the police years later. However, this memoir is an excellent explanation of why Ellroy was compelled to delve further and further into his own history and attempt to unravel or "solve" his mother's past. He is refreshingly candid about his own failings, motives, and desires. Somehow he manages to maintain his very high standard of writing despite the upsetting material. I found the book gripping and throughly absorbing. Certainly regular readers of Ellroy's fiction will enjoy it, but I'd also recommend it to newcomers provided that they have a strong stomach.