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This article contains spoilers for the First L.A. Quartet.

Ed Exley Edit

Edmund Jennings "Ed" Exley is a character who appears in James Ellroy’s First L.A. Quartet, specifically in L.A. Confidential and White Jazz. He is one of the three protagonists and the de facto main character of L.A. Confidential, as well as a major supporting character of White Jazz.

Exley is introduced as a young, idealistic and ambitious policeman, quickly rising through the ranks of the LAPD. Trying to surpass his father Preston, a former cop and construction tycoon, and doing his best to live out his late brother Thomas’s dreams, Ed gets caught up in a whirlwind of sex, murders and scandals of 1950’s Los Angeles.

Exley is portrayed by Guy Pearce in the 1997 film adaptation of L.A. Confidential, and by David Conrad in the unsold 2003 television pilot of the same name. 

Early life Edit

L.A. Confidential (1951-1958) Edit

Part I: Bloody Christmas Edit

Part II: Nite Owl Massacre Edit

Part III: Internal Affairs

Part IV: Destination: Morgue Edit

Part V: After You've Gone Edit

White Jazz (1958) Edit

Part I: Straight Life Edit

Part II: Vampira Edit

Part III: Darktown Red Edit

Part IV: Money Jungle Edit

Part V: Hushabye Edit

Later life (1958-) Edit

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