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Summary

A neo-noir crime novel from the legendary crime novelist James Ellroy.

Los Angeles, 15th January 1947: a beautiful young woman walked into the night and met her horrific destiny. Five days later, her tortured body was found drained of blood and cut in half. The newspapers called her 'The Black Dahlia'. Two cops are caught up in the investigation and embark on a hellish journey that takes them to the core of the dead girl's twisted life....

©1987 James Ellroy (P)2016 Isis Publishing Ltd

What listeners say about The Black Dahlia

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

complex crime thriller

classic LA Noir, Elroy literary owns this genre (see what I did there!) Thisnisnsuper fast pace, great delivery and unlike almost every other crime thriller the clues are hard to come by, the hero gets things wrong, nothings the first place they look and very little time is spent time coding the era, just download and let this book go!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Didn't get it?!

Literally couldn't even finish this book, I don't think I got even a third of the way through it. I found it so confusing, there were too many characters, they didn't seem to be very "fleshed out", and there were too many introduced in too short a space of time...
I was really excited about this book, as I love the crime genre, but this was too long winded for me...took a long time to get anywhere.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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good modern take on Hard Boiled, Black Mask style

Elroy perfectly encapsulates the feeling of the Hammett and Chandler, but unlike them, it's a bit more long winded.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

had this in my wishlist. Awful narration ruined it

could've been so much better had the narrator not been so awful. Ruined it for me. Accents were terrible.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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One of the great noir stories

One of the great noir stories, albeit one that could have ended a few chapters earlier. The last two twists were unnecessary. The first 9/10ths were brilliant

Excellent performance by Jeff Harding, except for a hilariously bad Scottish accent. American performers generally cannot do Scottish or Irish accents and only spoil things when they try to.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great book, great narrator, but that Scottish accent!

The narrators voice has to match the tone and mood of the book for me to be able to enjoy an audio book and not find their voice/accent a distraction. Jeff Harding was a perfect narrator for this dark, moody LA based novel, an insight into so many types of pain and a story where every character is morally corrupt. It's a wonderful novel and Harding is great- but, that Scottish accent he attempts is nothing short of ridiculous. I don't know what he's basing it on, but it sounds like Mrs Doubtfire doing an impression of an Irish person at panto. Its absolutely dreadful. If only someone else had read those parts.

1 person found this helpful

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Would have profited from some editing.

I was absolutely grabbed by the brilliant beginning and the middle, very atmospheric and full of life-like personages, but the story should have ended a three chapters earlier to make this book almost as good as "LA Confidential".

2 people found this helpful

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Scottish accent?

I know it’s a small thing and not really the fault of the audiobook producer but there is no such thing as a Scottish accent. Jeff here does an alright job of of an Aberdeen accent but needs some work z🤣

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Robotic Narration

Terrible narration, read in such a robotic manner.
It's a shame because the actual story is interesting although very unrealistic.
Narration has put me off listening to the quartet , back to basics and buy the paperback versions.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good but tries too hard to be grim

A neo-noir about dirty cops in LA who get involved in an equally twisted (and famous real-life) murder. I liked the performance but the story tried a bit too hard to be grim and gritty. Literally everything in this book is dark. There are no light spots. After a while you wonder what is the point of it all. The author seems to be saying that everything is miserable, It's well researched and the characters are very believable. And yet it's all so unrelentingly grim and everyone is so horrible you wonder why everybody doesn't just go kill themselves. It makes Game of Thrones seem like Walt Disney by comparison. I prefer my fiction to be a little more balanced. But in its favour it does have plenty of twists and turns to keep you interested.

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  • Helle Vibeke Lysdal
  • 11-05-19

Great story, so so narration

The story was well-written and atmospheric but I had a hard time listening to all the women voices, which the narrator performed in whiny, high-pitched voices that made them sound rather ridiculous.