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The Black Dahliaby James Ellroy
Saturday, September 13, 2014 04:00 PM
Powell's City of Books on Burnside, Portland, OR
From James Ellroy comes a pulse-pounding, as-it-happens narrative that unfolds in Los Angeles over 23 days beginning on December 6, 1941. The Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor. The U.S. teeters on the edge of war. The roundup of allegedly treasonous Japanese Americans is about to begin. And in L.A., a Japanese family is found dead. Murder or ritual suicide? The investigation will draw four people into a totally Ellroyian tangle. As lives intertwine, we are given a story of war and of consuming romance, a searing exposé of the Japanese internment, and an astonishingly detailed homicide investigation. In Perfidia (Knopf), Ellroy, the "Demon Dog of American Crime Fiction," delves more deeply than ever before into his characters' intellectual and emotional lives.
Synopses & Reviews
On January 15, 1947, the torture-ravished body of a beautiful young woman is found in a Los Angeles vacant lot. The victim makes headlines as the Black Dahlia — and so begins the greatest manhunt in California history.
Caught up in the investigation are Bucky Bleichert and Lee Blanchard: Warrants Squad cops, friends, and rivals in love with the same woman. But both are obsessed with the Dahlia — driven by dark needs to know everything about her past, to capture her killer, to possess the woman even in death. Their quest will take them on a hellish journey through the underbelly of postwar Hollywood, to the core of the dead girl's twisted life, past the extremes of their own psyches — into a region of total madness.
"Brutal and at the same time believable." The New York Times
"Turgid with passion, violence, and frustration...imaginative and bizarre." Los Angeles Times
"Fine attention to detail and a dead-on sense of the period...Ellroy has established himself as one of the finest practitioners of noir fiction." Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Building like a symphony, this is a wonderful, complicated but accessible tale of ambition, insanity, passion and deceit, with the perfect setting of booming, postwar Los Angeles." Publishers Weekly
"In his best book, Ellroy fictionalizes the notorious true story of the murder of a Los Angeles whore (literally sliced in two), using the poor girl as a psychic stand-in for the novelist's own murdered mother." Salon.com
"High-intensity prose. Reading it aloud could shatter your wineglasses." Elmore Leonard
"A riveting 1940s noir Hollywood setting, full of period flavor and investigative detail." Boston Herald
"Ellroy kept me glued to the chair....His ear for 1940s speech is flawless." Newsweek
Los Angeles, 1947: The mutilated body of a beautiful young woman — dubbed the Black Dahlia by the press — is found, spawning the greatest manhunt in California history. Warrants Squad cops Buckeye Bleacher and Lee Blanched are on the case, and soon become obsessed with the victim. They are driven to learn everything about her, and find that their pursuit of her killer and her twisted past lead them on a hellish tour of post-war Hollywood and into a region of total madness.
About the Author
James Ellroy was born in 1948 in Los Angeles, the city that has served as the inspiration for his acclaimed crime novels. His L.A. Quartet novels — The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, and White Jazz — are international bestsellers. His most recent novel, American Tabloid, was Time magazine's novel of the year for 1995. His memoir, My Dark Places, was a New York Times notable book and a Time magazine best book of the year for 1996. He lives in Kansas City.
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