Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Black Dahlia

A month has passed since I last posted something. 
Not my habit, but reading hasn't been my forte for a while now. I try to find time, but lately the only time I can find are those few minutes before I fall asleep. 

That doesn't mean that the novels I'm reading aren't good. The Black Dahlia is a bleak and raw work of art and I love the masculine tone it holds. 

As the title already explains, the novel revolves around one of the more famous murder cases from the 40's, which happened in L.A. shortly before Hollywoodland became Hollywood. The gruesome murder of Elizabeth Short.

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. (www.goodreads.com)

I'm beginning to believe that this is a difficult novel to explain. I've got a gut feeling that I like this novel, for the mere coldbloodedness mixed with a guiltridden conscience the narrator portrays. These two aspects seemingly not able to mix, lift this novel about a police man trying to find out what happened to a young, beautiful woman one night in January.
As his own life is set out to fail, he sets his sight on finding this killer, losing himself in the process to the longing he feels for the victim.

His search takes him through the ugly underbelly of LA and he gets mixed up with the wrong people which ultimately costs him his career.
Still, you never know where you are with this novel. It keeps you tense until the very last page and it is far from being predictable.

It's not a style everyone will prefer, but in my opinion the bleakness feels like a fresh take on what would otherwise be a mediocre novel. Ellroy makes his characters out of blood and tears and that's what make The Black Dahlia a work of art. There's no black or white, only grey and just enough cruelty in every person so make it so damn believable.