One small bit of the book that I found very interesting was the way they used tabloid radio (the TMZ of the time) to circulate lies and half truths to the public. Brain washing ala the entertainment media at it's inception.
Film Noir - love that description. Bleakness - check. Twisting plot - check. Dismal characters with dismal lives - check. Baker really did hit on those absolutes of the genre.
This book would probably make a really good movie. Visually you could bounce around from scene to scene and hopefully not lose your viewers as the story unfolds.
I'm checking this one off of my to-do list just in time to start a new and fresh 2013 list.
Happy New Year's!
And May Your Year Be Filled with Peace!