It's been I'm going to guess five-six years since I read those books...The Big Nowhere tied into L. A. Confidential because the main character in TBN was the dead guy Russell Crowe found under that lady's house in the movie, White Jazz is about Ed Exley gradually turning into the new Dudley Smith as I recall. Uhm, as for reading the books, I just kind of bit my lower lip and blazed on through without stopping, keeping track of plot details until finishing WJ where I promptly forgot them all just the way I would with Chandler. Supposedly White Jazz was like twice as long and then Ellroy went back and just cut out all the adverbs or something to create a weird terse language that makes the book unique.
I didn't read any of his stuff besides the LA Quartet, of which Black Dahlia was probably the weakest