Born in England, Richard Rayner now lives in Los Angeles and teaches at the University of Southern California. His previous books include the novels The Cloud Sketcher, L.A. Without a Map, and Murder Book, as well as the nonfiction account A Bright and Guilty Place: Murder, Corruption, and L.A.'s Scandalous Coming of Age. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and many other publications.
Richard Rayner had a peripatetic childhood, and it seemed he found some sense of place when he attended Cambridge University. The study of philosophy combined with an obsession with books, however, served as the catalyst for a bizarre life of crime. Mounting debts propelled the author into a series of adventures, as he plundered bookstores for elusive first editions, forged checks, and acted as an accomplice in a Keystone Kops-like attempted bank robbery. The Blue Suit is the personal story, both tragic and comic, of an absence of identity and a long checkered past of crimes and misdemeanors.
Barbara, a Playboy bunny, is delectable. Richard loves her. He abandons his life in London, a steady girlfriend, and a job, and flies to Los Angeles in search of Barbara and the romanticized America he's seen only in the movies.