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.
"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
"High-intensity prose. Reading it aloud could shatter your wineglasses." Elmore Leonard
"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
"Turgid with passion, violence, and frustration...imaginative and bizarre." Los Angeles Times
"A riveting 1940s noir Hollywood setting, full of period flavor and investigative detail." Boston Herald
"Ellroy distills the introspective style, slang, and racism of the '40s roman noir....His characters, individuals all, are beautifully shaded, and he captures the mind-numbing detail of police work." Chicago Sun-Times
"Ellroy kept me glued to the chair....His ear for 1940s speech is flawless." Newsweek
The highly acclaimed novel from bestselling author James Ellroy is now a major motion picture directed by Brian DePalma (The Untouchables, Carlito's Way).
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 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.