Friday, March 26, 2010

One Bloody Good Murder Mystery

The Black Dahlia (L.A. Quartet #1) by James Ellroy (1987; Grand Central Publishing, 2006, 384pp.)

Los Angeles, 1947: Betty “Black Dahlia” Short, one of the thousands of girls who flocked to postwar Hollywood hoping to make it big, makes headlines after she is found gruesomely murdered in an empty lot. There are no witnesses. There are few clues. Hundreds come forward, claiming to have committed the murder. The crime stirs up old ghosts for cops Bucky Bleichert and Lee Blanchard, who become obsessed with unraveling the so-called “Black Dahlia” murder, even at the cost of their partnership,
their lives, and their sanity. It has everything you could want in a thriller: tortured souls, a tantalizing mystery, and some really bizarre villains. A hard-hitting psychological drama almost as strange as the real-life crime itself, The Black Dahlia is one thriller that really delivers the goods.

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