The Black Dahlia
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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.
time ago, and it’s just the danger-loving part of you that took him back in. An injudicious part, I might add.” “Oh Daddy, I don’t—” I wheeled and stepped into the bedroom. Emmett and Madeleine were lying on the big canopied bed, clothed, her head on his lap, his rough carpenter’s hands massaging her shoulders. The father-lover noticed me first; Madeleine pouted when Daddy’s caresses stopped. My shadow hit the bed; she screamed. Emmett silenced her, a whip-fast hand glinting with gemstones
shitbird’s life?” Albanese was making gurgling sounds; blood was leaking into his huevos rancheros. “Have mercy,” I said. “Even fences derserve a better last supper.” Lee said, “Well put,” and let go of Albanese’s head. He came up for air bleeding and gasping, wiping a whole Mexican cookbook off his face. When he got breath he wheezed out, “The Versailles Apartments on 6th and Saint Andrews room 803 and please don’t give me a rat jacket!” Lee said, “Bon appetit, Bruno” I said, “You’re good.”
find out. Could I have your name, please?” “I’m Miss Loretta Janeway. I called the police when I heard Beth’s name on the radio.” “Miss Janeway, when did Elizabeth Short live at this address?” “I checked my records right after I heard that news broadcast. Beth stayed in my third-floor right-rear room from last September fourteenth to October nineteenth.” “Was she referred to you?” “No. I remember it very well, because Beth was such a pretty girl. She knocked on the door and said she was
work, taking down tips, then writing out slips assessing the tipsters and routing possible follow-ups to the nearest detective division. We’d been at it for an hour without interruption, Kay’s “gutless” remark hanging between us. Looking at Lee, I saw that his eyes were just starting to pin, a sign that he was coming on to a fresh Benzie jolt. I said, “I can’t.” “Why not?” “I’ve got a date.” Lee grinned-twitched. “Yeah? Who with?” I changed the subject. “Did you smooth it out with Kay?”
bracelets. Flashbulbs popped, newshounds recognized me and shouted my name, I yelled back, “No comment.” Inside, bluesuits goggle-eyed the sight. I shoved Johnny to the front desk and whispered in his ear: “Tell your daddy I know about his extortion deal with the fed reports, and about the syph and the whorehouse in Watts. Tell him I’m going to the papers with it tomorrow.” Johnny went back to his quiet sobbing. A uniformed lieutenant came over and blurted, “What on God’s earth is this here?” A