Beall has been a police officer with the Los Angeles
Police Department for over eight years. He is currently assigned to the LAPD 77th Division.
His assignments have included patrol and the anti-gang unit, and recently he began working homicide.
When asked about why he started writing, Beall said,
“I've always been a compulsive scribbler, writing everything down that I see and feel. If I had more artistic talent,
maybe I would sketch things. I've been doing this forever, since long before I came onto the job. But when I made the
decision to become a cop, I actually decided that I had to put that behind me. My first week on the job, every night when
I came home from work, I would just talk to my girlfriend at the time, until two in the morning, about everything that happened
all day. So, within a week of working in 77th, I realized I needed to write about this. And I started filling up notebooks
and legal pads. I don't remember exactly when I decided to write the book, but somewhere along the line I had this idea
of doing a story about this kid who was just starting out.”
In Beall’s debut novel, L.A. Rex, “As far
as everyone in the squad room knows, Ben Halloran is completely fresh to the streets of the 77th Division, a soft kid from
the West Side who's decided to become a cop and just happened to draw the hardest neighborhood in L.A. But demons from
Ben's complicated past catch up with him-and his tough, oddly principled Daryl Gates-era partner, Miguel Marquez-all too
quickly. From the moment Ben and Marquez hit the streets together, they're pulled into a web of ultra-violent corruption
and retribution involving hardcore Crip gangbangers and tagalong gangsta-rap gloryhounds, L.A.'s Mexican Mafia, sleazy
celebrity defense attorneys, and dirty cops with distinctly self-serving definitions of law enforcement. Ben is forced to
choose among father figures and apparent destinies-trying to obey (and discover) his own moral principles as well as his desperate
animal instinct simply to stay alive.”
Publisher’s Weekly said of L.A. Rex, “Beall's
hard-edged debut explores the familiar territory of drugs and corruption on the mean streets of South Central Los Angeles.
In scenes that alternate between the past and the present, rookie police officer Ben Halloran, who's partnered with tough
veteran Miguel Marquez, struggles to conceal his secret affiliation with a ganglord, even as the pair probe a series of murders.
Beall, himself an officer in the LAPD's 77th Division, writes what he knows, but loads of pointless, gory violence (including
gougings and mutilations), some awkward prose ("The party was Carcosa's schizophrenic attempt to reconcile his criminal
origins with the propriety of a Mexican tradition"), improbable plot elements (thugs who quote Macbeth) and a lack of
redeeming characters limit this one's appeal.”