New Releases: April

Susan Salter Reynolds and Ann Herold review two new books

Midnight Alley
By Miles Corwin
(Oceanview Publishing, 304 pages, $26)
Mercy! This high-octane thriller captures the whorl of L.A. and leaves the reader wanting more. When two men are found dead in a Venice alleyway, Ash Levine, an ex-Israeli paratrooper turned LAPD Felony Special Squad detective, is on the case. Sho’line Crips, V-13, ancient masks, and Russian mafiosi collide. By novel’s end, one can’t help but glance out at all the sunshine and ask, Could this be the same town? –Susan Salter Reynolds  


Houses of the Sundown Sea
By Lisa Germany
(Abrams, 240 pages, $75)
Architect Harry Gesner created L.A.’s most gravity-defying houses, bolting them to hillsides and perching them atop steep ridges. Born to an artist mother and inventor-adventurer father, he roamed L.A.’s mountains and beaches. A compelling mix of prose and photos documents his passions, including a love of ships. No wonder so many of his houses look as if they’re sailing into the sunset. -Ann Herold 


Children of Manzanar
Edited by Heather C. Lindquist
(Heyday, 160 pages, $18)
Of the 11,070 Japanese incarcerated at Manzanar from 1942 to 1945, some 8,000 were born in the United States and nearly 4,000 were children and young adults. Using never-before-published photos by Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, and Toyo Miyatake, Lindquist tells the story of these youths. The captions are straightforward; the images make it clear that the internees found beauty everywhere. -S.S.R.