The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy
The Black Dahlia (1987) is a crime fiction novel by American author James Ellroy. Its subject is the 1947 murder of Elizabeth Short in Los Angeles, California, which received wide attention because her corpse was horrifically mutilated and discarded in an empty residential lot. The investigation ultimately led to a broad police corruption scandal. While rooted in the facts of the Short murder and featuring many real-life people, places and events, Ellroy's novel blends facts and fiction, notably in solving Short's crime when in reality her murder was unsolved. James Ellroy dedicated The Black Dahlia, "To Geneva Hilliker Ellroy 1915-1958 Mother: Twenty-nine Years Later, This Valediction in Blood." The epigraph for The Black Dahlia is "Now I fold you down, my drunkard, my navigator, My first lost keeper, to love and look at later. -Anne Sexton." This book is considered the one that gained Ellroy critical attention as a serious writer of literature, expanding his renown beyond the crime novels of his early career.. The Black Dahlia is the first book in Ellroy's L.A. Quartet, a cycle of novels set in 1940s and 1950s Los Angeles. He portrays the city in this period as a hotbed of political corruption and depravity. The Quartet continues with The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, and White Jazz.