The Black Dahlia – James Ellroy

I guess the story of Black Dahlia is pretty well known, so I’ll skip the summary, for those interested here is the link to the source of all knowledge 😉

Dwight ‘Bucky’ Bleichert narrates this story and for me the most grabbing part is not the story of Black Dahlia murder, but the story of Bucky’s and Lee Blanchard’s friendship. They meet on another case, but Lee already then predicts they will work together. The opportunity comes when the police department organizes a boxing match to raise funds, Buky and Lee (or Mr Ice and Mr Fire) are the fight of the evening.

The book focuses more on Bucky than on Dahlia, on how he fell in love with Lee and Kay and looked up to them. How Lee fails and lets him down, only to vanish form his life. How finally Bucky gets obsessed with resolving Lee’s mystery and Dahlia’s murder and how this obsession costs him everything.

It is a dark, gritty book, I had the impression everything takes place at night. Los Angeles is a tough place where no one plays clean, it is a men’s world, dirty, racist, unfair and not even trying to pretend otherwise.

I was fascinated by Bucky’s descent into darkness, how his mind got lured. The world that Ellroy constructs is not one I’d like to live in or even visit, it is full of twisted people and stories, but it is a world that is masterfully built, and where every character is fully developed and surprising. It is a book that managed to grab me and and completely transport me into dark corners of LA and obsession even though I read it on the beach.


This is book #5 of my 20 Books of Summer hosted by Cathy at 746books, I’m just not reviewing them in order.

Photo by Violetta Kaszubowska

2 thoughts on “The Black Dahlia – James Ellroy

  1. Pingback: June round-up –

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