The Black Dahlia

This is the first of Ellroy’s ‘L.A. Quartet’ – The Black Dahlia (1987), The Big Nowhere (1988) L.A. Confidential (1990), and White Jazz (1992). It’s Los Angeles 1947. Warrants Squad cops Bucky Bleichart and Lee Blanchard are called in to investigate the brutal murder of a beautiful young girl (christened ‘The Black Dahlia’ by the press) found in a parking lot. So we are entertained to a tour of the grisly underbelly of the city of angels in the post war period. For all the horror, sex and violence, though, Ellroy ( has a theme of corrupted human beings seeking redemption. Everything is personal and never was it more true to point out that ‘Out of the Crooked Timber of Humanity No Straight Thing was Ever Made’ than in the world conjured up by James Ellroy. For a magnificent screen adaptation of the third volume of the quartet look no further than Curtis Hanson’s ‘L.A. Confidential’ (1997) ( This brings across the whole noir atmosphere with aplomb. With Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, James Cromwell, Kim Basinger, and Danny DeVito. The Black Dahlia was itself brought to film with a screenplay by Josh Friedman. With Josh Hartnett and Scarlett Johansson. ( Available on DVD (  Immerse yourself in it all and then take a shower.

384 pages in Windmill Books paperback edition.

ISBN 978-0099537861

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