With thanks to Jeff Pierce at The Rap Sheet, and Patti Abbott, who invented The Book You Have To Read feature, I offer this cinematic version.
CHINATOWN (1974) was arguably Jack Nicholson's best movie role; director Roman Polanski's best work; Robert Towne's best writing. John Huston and Faye Dunaway weren't too shabby, either, and Jerry Goldsmith's music, John A. Alonzo's cinematography and Sam O'Steen's editing were all superb.
I saw Chinatown for the second time this weekend, after watching a preview of a terrific PBS documentary on the Chandler family -- who stole the water from the Owens Valley and diverted it to the San Fernando Valley. This was the heart of Towne's fictional story, and Polanski and his crew created an evocative picture of 1930's Los Angeles to bring it to life.
If you haven't seen Chinatown recently, do your good taste a favor and rent it.