The City of Angels has become the city of the Angel of Death. It’s January 1, 1950 in Los Angeles. A witch hunt for commies in the movie industry is gearing up under the guise of patriotism. The plot is about three characters: Danny Upshaw is a Sheriff's deputy stuck with a bunch of snuffs nobody cares about; they're his chance to make his name as a cop... and to sate his darkest curiosities. Mal Considine is D.A.'s Bureau brass. He's climbing on the Red Scare bandwagon to advance his career and to gain custody of his adopted son, a child he saved from the horror of postwar Europe. Buzz Meeks - bagman, ex-Narco goon, and pimp for Howard Hughes - is fighting communism for the money.
The story takes place in the aftermath of the notorious Sleepy Lagoon murder case and the resultant Zoot Suit Riots. The Big Nowhere is a 1988 crime fiction novel by James Ellroy, the second of the L.A. Quartet, a series of novels set in 1940s and 1950s Los Angeles.