James Ellroy was born in in Los Angeles, the city that has served as the inspiration for his acclaimed crime novels. His L.A. Quartet novels-The Black. A great book is one that makes me re-evaluate what I’m doing, dig deeper, try harder, raise my own bar. But James Ellroy’s ‘The Black Dahlia’. The Black Dahlia was inspired by the murders of a young woman – and James Ellroy’s mother.

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Down we go into an ever darker crime, and the darkening souls of our heroes. As they begin looking for a man name Nash who killed an old woman, they stumble upon another crime scene that will take them down a dark and twisted path.

The Black Dahlia (L.A. Quartet, #1) by James Ellroy

As with most books of this type, the mystery is eventually solved but not without costing everyone involved damn near everything in the process. The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy. Killer on the Road Elizabeth had no alcohol or drugs in her system when she died.

Almost everyone involved the investigation has their own agendas, and the methods used to get what they want are brutal. He learns the movie was shot in Hollywood, not Mexico. The police have received eighteen confessions, all from crazy people attracted to the sensational nature of the crime. He starts taking the same pills Lee took. This was such a dark novel. Ellroy completes the novel with the killer caught and in his wish-fulfilling conclusion, one of the saddest of all unsolved murder mystery cases is finally laid to rest.


Bucky heads to Tijuana to find Lee and gets a tip he is in Ensenada. He rambles quite a bit, but does give some details about the murder.

On January 15,the hideously mutilated body of Elizabeth Short, or the ” Black Dahlia “, is found in an abandoned lot and becomes a media sensation. She tells him she hunted Betty down because she heard Betty looked just like her. Each chapter amplifies her tragedy and her desperation. It also uses realistic views and language for the time, so do not expect PC dialogue.

Starting the book, the meeting and growing bonds of partnership between Bucky and Lee are a rollercoaster of crime, brutality and love. Betty was in a movie and showed the viewfinder to get attention. One person commits suicide xahlia, and an officer who solicited kinky sex from Short is convicted.

John Mullan on The Black Dahlia – Guardian book club | Books | The Guardian

The relationship between Bucky, Kay, and Blaack really lent itself to some crazy shit. Bucky, outweighed and outclassed, initially tries to throw the fight, as his winnings would be enough to put his dementia -addled father into a good nursing home, but decides to win as that would get him a plainclothes job in the Warrants Division.

He begins to see Kay on a regular basis, but still dreams of Betty. That’s my aimed for look by the way – glamorous depravity.

Ellroy has masterfully done for me. Whew, when will it end? Bucky chases Lee across town. Meanwhile, as the city tears down the last four letters of the “Hollywoodland” signa hut is discovered with walls covered in dried blood. I guess it’s because I like y horror fictional-although I have read quite a bit of true crime “novels”-for some reason I see Ellroy’s fiction as a bit beyond the pale.


The Black Dahlia

That glimpse of Criss Cross is a clue to another narrative convention that Ellroy borrows from s film noir: Freud, sex, children, men, writers, male writers, golden Los Angeles and rotten Hollywood.

She confesses she had sex with Betty once and he leaves her. And, in some dark blac, become facinated by them. For his part, Bucky develops a strange obsession with Short, identifying with her troubled, nomadic, and marginal life.

The Black Dahlia

I don’t know why. Crime fiction Fiction features. Reading his own words about his why just served to solidify my reactions to everything. Views Read Edit View history. Serious flaw in the plot: It says a lot about humanity blcak we hairless apes will shoot cannon loads of glitter over a crime and then dahliq it in news print in order to shiny it up and turn it into a sort of public entertainment with no consideration of the fact that it was an actual person who was carved in half, bled dry and then carved up to resemble Jack Nicholson’s Joker.