Publisher: Warner Books, Incorporated, New York, 1998
“The Black Dahlia” is a police novel on an epic scale; a classic period piece that provides a startling conclusion to America’s most infamous unsolved murder mystery. Already hailed as a masterpiece, it establishes James Ellroy as this country’s most powerful living writer of “noir” fiction.
On January 15, 1947, the torture-ravished body of a beautiful young woman is found in a vacant lot in Los Angeles. The victim makes headlines as the Black Dahlia, and her murder sparks the greatest manhunt in California history.
Caught up in the investigation are Bucky Bleichert and Lee Blanchard: Warrants Squad cops, friends, and adversaries in love with the same woman. But both are obsessed with the Dahlia—driven by dark needs to know everything about her life, to capture her killer, to possess the woman even in death. Their quest will take them on a hellish journey through the underbelly of post-war Hollywood, to the core of the dead girl’s twisted life, past the extremes of their own psyches—into a region of total madness.
With the no-punches-held style that has become the trademark of a James Ellroy novel, this brilliant and savagely original author launches the reader on a roller-coaster ride through the violent world of the ’40’s L.A. cop.