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The Black Dahlia (L.A. Quartet, #1)
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Archive - Group Reads > Black Dahlia, The - June 2013

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message 1: by Leigh (last edited Jun 06, 2013 09:44PM) (new) - added it

Leigh | 6313 comments Our group read lead for The Black Dahlia is Theresa. Look forward to an intro to the books and the author, and to a cracking discussion.

As usual please not we discuss all aspects of the books we read - the plots, the characters, the settings and so on - on our discussions threads. Hence the discussion threads will contain spoilers from the start. if you haven't finished the book yet be careful not to read others' posts until the end.


If you haven't picked a book for June, here is the Goodreads summary of The Black Dahlia.


"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."

The Black Dahlia (L.A. Quartet, #1) by James Ellroy


message 2: by Michelle (new) - added it

Michelle (shelld79) I'd love to read this book in June but I think I'm overloaded enough already. I'll do my best to try and get to it though as it looks really good.


message 3: by Ray (new) - added it

Ray Chance | 16 comments I'd like to read this book as I have been fascinated with the actual case for the last 40 years. Hope to get to it soon!


message 4: by J. (last edited Jun 05, 2013 07:21PM) (new)

J. (jguenther) Leigh wrote: "the torture-ravished body of a beautiful young woman is found..."

I think the word you're looking for is 'ravaged.'

At the time, my mother heard a rumor that a CHP officer was a prime suspect, but never charged. I'm not sure where she heard this, but I know she'd been talking to Sgt. Ray Hopkinson (LA Co. Homicide detective) concerning another LA murder at roughly the same time, so it's possible he or someone else in the department mentioned it. It also might have been Ray who suggested she buy a gun. She thought very highly of him.


message 5: by Leigh (last edited Jun 05, 2013 08:52PM) (new) - added it

Leigh | 6313 comments J. wrote: "Leigh wrote: "the torture-ravished body of a beautiful young woman is found..."

I think the word you're looking for is 'ravaged.'

At the time, my mother heard a rumor that a CHP officer was a pr..."



Not my words. Jut a paste from the Goodreads book page, which is a copy from the Amazon page.


message 6: by J. (new)

J. (jguenther) Leigh wrote: "Not my words. Jut a paste from the Goodreads book page..."

Yes, you did say it was the GR summary. I didn't see quotes around it, missed the intro. Sorry, Leigh.


message 7: by Leigh (last edited Jun 06, 2013 01:25AM) (new) - added it

Leigh | 6313 comments No worries. I forgot the quotes, so it was my mistake.


Craig Great book. I originally read it in the late '80s but re-read it for this discussion.


Ambs ❤❤ (hannonan) | 13 comments I believe I have seen this movie (which wasn't bad), and I know the actual history behind the Black Dahlia. I think this will be a fascinating read. I will be back to discuss my views after I have finished up the book.


message 10: by Beth (last edited Jul 08, 2013 01:01PM) (new)

Beth  (techeditor) | 1004 comments I just remembered that I read this book back in the 80s. I hardly remembmer it, but I do remember that I wasn't thrilled with it. It must have bored me.

Although this book says it was published in 2006, I KNOW I read a book about this years ago. I even remember buying it at a used book store on Adams Ave. when I lived in San Diego.


☼♎ Carmen the Bootyshaker Temptress ☼♎ | 601 comments I'd like to read this book and hope I do. I have to see how far I get with the other books my friends have me reading.


☼♎ Carmen the Bootyshaker Temptress ☼♎ | 601 comments A little confused, it says June Group Read #4 is there others?


☼♎ Carmen the Bootyshaker Temptress ☼♎ | 601 comments Never mind I found them. Thanks anyway


message 14: by Leigh (new) - added it

Leigh | 6313 comments Four books were chosen for the June Group Reads.



The Black Dahlia
Sharp Objects
Johannes Cabal The Necromancer
Murphy's Law

If you look on the group landing page, below the videos you will see them listed under "Currently Reading".


message 15: by Heather (last edited Jun 09, 2013 02:18PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Heather McCarthy | 17 comments The Black Dahila
Great book. I originally read it a few years ago but will re-read it for this discussion. Can't wait


Theresa Sivelle (hiking1957) | 43 comments Here's a little background on the story and the author.

The Black Dahlia was a nickname given to Elizabeth Short,an American women who was the victim of a gruesome murder on January 15, 1947. Her mutilated, sliced in half body, was found in Leimert Park, Los Angeles, CA. Her unsolved murder has been the source of widespread speculation along with several books and film adaptions. It is one of the oldest unsolved murder cases in Los Angeles History.

James Ellroy, the author, was born in Los Angeles, CA on March 4, 1948. He is an American crime fiction writer and essayist.

After his parents divorce, he and his mother relocated to El Monte CA. In 1958, his mother was murdered and her case also remains unsolved.

Ellroy's inability to come to terms with her death is reported to have led to his writing The Black Dahlia.

He is currently living in Los Angeles and is a self-described hermit, possessing very few technological amenities, including televsion, and claims never to read contemporary books by other authors, except for Joseph Waumbaugh's The Onion Field, for fear that they might influence his own.

He is currently writing a "Second L.A. Quartet" taking place during the Second World War, with some characters from the first L.A. Quartet and the Underworld USA Trilogy returning younger. The first book is called Perfidia and is to be released in 2013.


Heather McCarthy | 17 comments So I am just curious how this works. Its my first group read.


Theresa Sivelle (hiking1957) | 43 comments Heather wrote: "So I am just curious how this works. Its my first group read."

Heather, I usually read the books that sound interesting, post my review on this feed and I also sometimes comment and/or respond to others comments.

I'm new at kind of running this part so I'm not sure of everything. I'm not completely done with the book myself, but I hope to have some questions to post to help with conversations.


Craig I've got a question:
Ellroy's take on life/humanity is so dark, what is it about his work that makes it so compelling?


Theresa Sivelle (hiking1957) | 43 comments That is an excellent question.

I know that reading the book (I'm not quite done) I just feel like I get to know the characters in his writing, which I find compelling.


Theresa Sivelle (hiking1957) | 43 comments Jenni wrote: "Hi Theresa, Thanks for a great read and this information. Please check your email for your B&N gift card."

Got it.

Thanks!!


Theresa Sivelle (hiking1957) | 43 comments Has anyone else seen the article from February 2013 about a new lead on this case? Well, guess it's not really a new lead but sounds like a new clue anyway. It's a different author who thinks that his father killed her. Here's the link to the article.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02...


message 23: by Lynn (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lynn (lmelliott) I read this hoping for a Raymond Chandler kind of take on this crime, but this one wore me out with the crazy plot twists towards the end. Aside from that, the tough guy language was racist, homophobic, and misogynistic. I understand the author was trying give the reader a feeling for the period, but it was not a comfortable book to read.


Craig Ellroy is not going to be everyone's cup of tea. I've read three of his novels now, and there is always a pretty strong vein of racism and misogyny. In spite of that, I enjoy reading his stuff. I don't know how realistic in a historic sense it is, but he creates a world (with words) that is corrupt and almost irredeemable. And yet, his protagonists are fighting for something they believe in. They often lose sight of why they're doing what they're doing, but there is something inherently noble about their quest.


Craig Theresa wrote: "Has anyone else seen the article from February 2013 about a new lead on this case? Well, guess it's not really a new lead but sounds like a new clue anyway. It's a different author who thinks tha..."

Steve Hodel wrote a book about 10 years ago explaining why his dad was the murderer of the Black Dahlia. I think it has been discredited since then.


message 26: by Lynn (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lynn (lmelliott) Craig wrote: "Ellroy is not going to be everyone's cup of tea. I've read three of his novels now, and there is always a pretty strong vein of racism and misogyny. In spite of that, I enjoy reading his stuff. ..."

I usually enjoy dark characters and despite my complaints, this was a compelling read. I may give another book in the series a try.....maybe after I read something sappy and need to get the sweetness out of my system.


message 27: by Jacob (last edited Jun 16, 2013 01:24PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jacob Longman (jglongman) | 5 comments Lynn wrote: "I read this hoping for a Raymond Chandler kind of take on this crime, but this one wore me out with the crazy plot twists towards the end. Aside from that, the tough guy language was racist, homop..."

When I was a senior in high school I read L.A. Confidential. I thought it was pretty good, so I recommended it to my mother. She's a speed reader, so two days later I asked her how it was going. "Oh," she said. "I stopped reading about half way through. I didn't care what happened to any of those people. I didn't like a single one of them."


Heather McCarthy | 17 comments What I find sad is that it has and probably never will be solved. It was always an isolated case, no murder like it before and none after it which is why I believe it will never be solved. I feel close to this story though because I live near Medford Ma where she was from and I had relatives who knew her.


Ambs ❤❤ (hannonan) | 13 comments This was definitely a twisted and dark book. There were so many story line changes, and a multitude of complex characters and relationships to try to keep track of. I've read the the actual story of the Black Dahlia, and I know this story definitely does not reflect the actual events in time.

Taking that into consideration, I enjoyed the book overall. To be honest, I had a completely different review in my head, until I read the afterward. I have now forgotten the direction I wanted to take it. I enjoyed the relationship the author draws out between the story and his personal life.


Jacky | 347 comments Everything about this book felt really familiar to me, then I watched the short posted on the home page and realised I'd watched the film. I did enjoy the book more, however.


Laurel (goodreadscomboddy_l) | 117 comments I just finished reading The Black Dahlia. Here is my review. There are no spoilers in it.
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


Heather McCarthy | 17 comments Okay I just finished this morning. I thought the movie was better than the book. I found the book hard to follow and it kept jumping from place to place. There is much more graphic content and language which I was not prepared for. I would give a 3 star and it did make me want to see the movie one more time.


Theresa Sivelle (hiking1957) | 43 comments I loved and hated this book. I liked the investigative part but cringed at some of the violence, mostly by the characters that I was expecting to be the "good guys". I didn't like some of the stereo types and I didn't like the prejudices, but then I had to remind myself that keeping in the time most of those really were they way things were. Doesn't make them right, just makes them more believable for the time. Bottom line is I was continually compelled to pick up the story as I wanted to know what was going to happen. I am really glad that I finally got to read this. Think I'm going to have to see the movie again.


Theresa Sivelle (hiking1957) | 43 comments I don't remember the movie (been too long since I saw it) so can someone share something that differed between the book and the movie?


Francie Grice | 48 comments I read this book earlier this year and loved the take on the Dahlia murder. I've seen several documentaries on this with different points of view, some more plausible than others, but this story kept me hanging on until the end.


Kristin Theresa wrote: "I don't remember the movie (been too long since I saw it) so can someone share something that differed between the book and the movie?"

I just finished the book the other day and watched the movie yesterday. The movie wasn't highly rated (two stars on Amazon), despite the excellent cast. With most books that turn into a movie it's so hard to get into the depth of the characters and fit in the whole story in 2 hours. They did cut some things out – no trip to Tijajuana, for example. They also added scenes of Betty's screen tests so we'd get to see who the Black Dahlia was in life. Despite this, I think if I hadn't read the book, I'd have trouble following the movie.
Thanks for picking this book! I really enjoyed it!


message 37: by Karen (last edited Jul 11, 2013 04:42PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Karen I did not read this, though wanted to. I just have not been able to get books lately. Perhaps the mystery is solved:http://www.blogtalkradio.com/insidele.... This was extremely interesting if you want to check it out.
This P.I. investigated and found his father was the killer. He also has books on it.


Heather McCarthy | 17 comments I wish they would investigate DNA on this crime instead of Albert DaSalva. It would be a lot more interesting to me. I wonder why they haven't done anything in this case.


Karen Heather wrote: "I wish they would investigate DNA on this crime instead of Albert DaSalva. It would be a lot more interesting to me. I wonder why they haven't done anything in this case."

It is strange isn't it?


Sofia (fivesunflowers) | 23 comments A little late, but I just finished this novel - I thoroughly enjoyed it. Some parts were more fast paced than others and the twists and turns were surprising. I know that Lee and Bucky were obsessed with Liz Short, but I don't feel like the reader ever really learns why?? Was it just because she was a black-haired beauty? This is such a morbid and sad case, as was most of the book. Brilliantly written.


message 41: by Elaine (new)

Elaine | 53 comments Have read all 3 and truly enjoyed.


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