Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Black Dahlia by James Ellroy

Black Dahlia (original 1987; edition 2011)

by James Ellroy

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,009961,277 (3.62)207
Title:Black Dahlia
Authors:James Ellroy
Info:Windmill (2011), Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy (1987)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 207 mentions

English (83)  French (6)  Italian (3)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  All (96)
Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
We follow the lives of two Los Angeles police officers, Bleichart and Blanchard, as they stumble their way through personal addiction to drugs, to their lives as amateur boxers, to their lives as cops in a division which is full of bent cops and bribed cops who beat and kill at will. There is a woman both men are attracted to - and she also is complicated and not-so-lily-white. Then there is the murder of a young woman called Betty Short and the lurid investigation, corrupt and bungled, which ensues. Bleichart becomes obsessed (plus sexually obsessed) with the gruesome details of the case.
In all, I found this book hard going and it didn't live up to its reputation. The story was disjointed, the writing style downright weird (surreal?) in places and firmly centred in the mind of Bleichart who veered from loyal partner, to a man dreaming of sex with a cadaver, to brutal cop, to corrupt cop to good cop. I like noir, but it has to be well written.
The book began to hook me in the last quarter and it became fascinating as the lurid plot spun itself out to its most gruesome, revealing practically nobody to be free of implication in the corruption of that era. However, it all came far too late for me. Three stars and I'm being generous. ( )
  AnnGirdharry | Feb 16, 2017 |
My mother told me about the Black Dahlia when I was growing up. The entire mystery was intriguing to me. I loved listening to it. Very raw. Not for the prudish or squimish. ( )
  NanaDebs | Jan 9, 2017 |
I got about 3/4 of the way thru and just could not bear it any longer. An unrelentingly hopeless story with unlikeable characters filled with dark desires doing senselessly crude and stupid things. Even the good writing couldn't make me want to finish it.
  Storeetllr | Dec 29, 2016 |
I know it's a classic. I like suspense. I wanted to like it. But I didn't. Even for an average-lengthed book, it felt long and overraught. For whatever reason that was my reaction, but Ellroy is a good writer so worth a shot to try him out. ( )
  penguinasana | Nov 21, 2016 |
In the noir history of Los Angeles there is the unsolved murder mystery of Elizabeth Short. Her mutilated body was found dumped in an empty lot on January 15, 1947. The crime created a sensation at that time, and to this day remains unsolved.

Noir author James Ellroy here creates a story concerning two policemen who are involved on the fringes of the police investigation of Elizabeth Short, dubbed The Black Dahlia by the press. This is an entertaining novel about the lives and loves of the two policemen, but Elizabeth Short has very little to do with the fiction here; she never appears as a character. ( )
  ramon4 | Oct 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Ellroyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lorenzin, LucianoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mutarelli, LourençoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peringer, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vlek, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Now I fold you down, my drunkard, my navigator, My first lost keeper, to love or look at later.
- Anne Sexton
To Geneva Hilliker Ellroy 1915-1958
Twenty-nine years later, this valediction in blood
First words
I never knew her in life.
This has been going on since Mae West was a virgin.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446698873, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:06 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

The murder of a beautiful young woman in 1947 Los Angeles sparks an investigation in which Bucky Bleichert, Lee Blanchard, L.A.P.D. Warrants Squad cops, ex-boxers, friends, and adversaries become obsessed by the case.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 13 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
269 avail.
42 wanted
3 pay7 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.62)
0.5 2
1 28
1.5 6
2 87
2.5 25
3 268
3.5 77
4 390
4.5 47
5 178


4 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 112,492,444 books! | Top bar: Always visible