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City of Something, All Right


With Detective: City of Angels, Evan Derrick wants so badly to channel L.A. Confidential. Book or film, take your pick. The same goes for Chinatown and The Big Sleep. Anything noir, really. I’m not sure what else he could have done to say so. Stash a pack of unfiltered cigarettes beneath the box insert? Bribe your dame to go full femme fatale? Call the game master a Chisel? Oh wait, he did that one.

As with any setting as starkly drawn as the hardboiled genre, City of Angels runs the risk of slipping across the line from pastiche to parody. By now, the tropes have calcified into the bones of American fiction. So thorough is their digestion that certain notes are America. What does Derrick do with those bones?

He makes one heck of a detective game.

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