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There was a random feel to the dark, the quirkiness of chance played out in the blue neon light. So many ways to live. And to die. You could be riding in the back of a studio's black limo, or just as easily the back of the coroner's blue van. The sound of applause was the same as the buzz of a bullet spinning past your ear in the dark. That randomness. That was L.A.

There was flash fire and flash flood, earthquake, mudslide. There was the drive-by shooter and the crack-stoked burglar. The drunk driver and the always-curving road ahead. There were killer cops and cop killers. There was the husband of the woman you were sleeping with. And there was the woman. At any moment on any night there were people being raped, violated, maimed. Murdered and loved. There was always a baby at his mother's breast. And, sometimes, a baby alone in a Dumpster.

Michael Connelly, The Black Ice
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