Author: Paul Pringle
Published by: Celadon Books on Jul. 19, 2022
Format: ARC, Paperback
Source: Celadon Books
Book Rating: 9/10
For fans of Spotlight and Catch and Kill comes a nonfiction thriller about corruption and betrayal radiating across Los Angeles from one of the region’s most powerful institutions, a riveting tale from a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist who investigated the shocking events and helped bring justice in the face of formidable odds.
On a cool, overcast afternoon in April 2016, a salacious tip arrived at the L.A. Times that reporter Paul Pringle thought should have taken, at most, a few weeks to check out: a drug overdose at a fancy hotel involving one of the University of Southern California’s shiniest stars—Dr. Carmen Puliafito, the head of the prestigious medical school. Pringle, who’d long done battle with USC and its almost impenetrable culture of silence, knew reporting the story wouldn’t be a walk in the park. USC is one of the biggest employers in L.A., and it casts a long shadow.
But what he couldn’t have foreseen was that this tip would lead to the unveiling of not one major scandal at USC but two, wrapped in a web of crimes and cover-ups. The rot rooted out by Pringle and his colleagues at The Times would creep closer to home than they could have imagined—spilling into their own newsroom.
Packed with details never before disclosed, Pringle goes behind the scenes to reveal how he and his fellow reporters triumphed over the city’s debased institutions, in a narrative that reads like L.A. noir. This is L.A. at its darkest and investigative journalism at its brightest.
Fast-paced, insightful, and comprehensive!
Bad City is the explosive, eye-opening investigation of one of the biggest scandals to rock the University of Southern California that started as a tip involving an unconscious woman, a hotel room littered with drug paraphernalia, and the Dean of its distinguished Keck School of Medicine, Carmen A. Puliafito and ended with the unearthing of an unimaginable amount of corruption, abuse of power, and exploitation that eventually led to the removal of several key figures in both the top echelons of the university’s administration as well as The L.A. Times.
The writing is detailed and precise. And the novel is an absorbing, compelling tale of one man’s dogged determination to uncover and expose the dark, dangerous, depraved secret life of one of the esteemed members of the USC faculty.
Overall, Bad City is a fascinating, disturbing, exceptionally descriptive novel by Pringle that is a scary reminder that often a rotten core can easily be masked by a shiny facade, and is without a doubt a prime example of investigative journalism at its best.
This novel is available now.
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Thank you to Celadon Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.