Billy’s bloodied knuckles attest to the persuasion required to complete the collection. For his effort, our hero is handed a paltry $20 bill.
That’s when we learn Billy’s a cop and Craine’s table companion, who witnessed and approved of the exchange, is Billy’s boss, LAPD Captain Jeffers.
Billy’s attached to Trini, a long-legged, beautiful ‘twist’ – one of the girls frequenting the Speaks – but has eyes for the stunning Madeline who he accepts is out of his league.
Prohibition has created a new normal. Law breaking and police corruption are a given. While Billy and partner Turk are on the take, it’s a matter of proportion.
On balance, they’re the good guys, still trying to solve crimes and bring murderers to justice. The bad guys, however, use Billy and Turk’s petty corruption to skew the game and gain even greater advantage.
L.A. gangsters, the Prohibition era, a love story, a femme fatal and a flawed anti-hero – what’s not to like? I loved and hated Billy for his weakness. He had a good thing in Trini but couldn’t resist running after after Madeline like a dog in heat, personal safety be damned.
Indifferent City is a sexy, gritty, morally bleak well written peek at a hard-drinking, womanizing cop on the take with a heart of bronze during a time when an unenforcable law diminished all laws and those paid to enforce them.
But it’s also an allegory for modern times. When cops shoot a disproportionate number of black men and crazed gunmen assassinate cops supposedly in retaliation, it’s a signal we need to change the rules of the game to keep civilization from crumbling.