The Black Dahlia
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The Black Dahlia is a roman noir on an epic scale: a classic period piece that provides a startling conclusion to America's most infamous unsolved murder mystery--the murder of the beautiful young woman known as The Black Dahlia.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
L.A. very noir. Channels Raymond Chandler almost perfectly, but lacks a moral compass. Maybe it's that L.A. doesn't have one. Or maybe the author just didn't know how to look for it.
Obsession through Ellroy's Looking Glass
"The Black Dahlia" is an intersection where obsessions collide in passion-fugued madness. Every exquisitely drawn character is neatly chronicled by author James Ellroy with their own, often dark passions that drive them through life in postwar Los Angeles circa 1947. Ellroy tears into the dark side of Hollywood, weaving the story of Elizabeth Short, nicknamed "The Black Dahlia" when the sensationalist story of her killing hit LA tabloids with the anguish over Ellroy's own mother being murdered in LA years later.
The fictional story of cop and local boxing hero Bucky Bleichert's rise on the fast track in the LAPD until the body of a badly mutilated girl is discovered. Bleichert and his partner become obsessed with the Dahlia, as do many of the elite detectives of the LAPD. To narrate more of the story is to give away one of the best-told stories in detective fiction, rife with amazing nuances and subtle well constructed details that will keep you turning pages.
An amazing read, Ellroy at his best.
Great book; deserves a lot of credit
The book is a great noir novel, chronicling a series of misadventures where the protagonists are just as filthy as the criminals they seek. The action is well done, the mystery solving is excellent, and even as a seasoned mystery reader, the twist was almost completely unknown to me—though in hindsight I feel I probably should have.
The most important point to the novel isn't that it's a great mystery novel, nor is it that it has all the appropriate twists and turns. The most important point is that no matter how gritty and filthy the main character gets you'll still love him dearly. You'll root for him in his darkest days and that makes this novel worth reading.