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Posted September 3, 2006
With all the publicity for the new 'Black Dahlia' movie this month, I figured it was time to read 'Shadow of the Dahlia' by Jack Bludis. I've been saving this book to read as a treat, and since this week has had a few disappointments, I figured that was enough excuse to ignore the phone for a few evenings and plunge myself back into Hollywood in the early part of 1947. The protagonist of this book is Rick Page, a private eye. Rick is thrown into the world of Hollywood high-rollers who trade women like cars when he is asked to find Laura Prendergast, ex-callgirl, now-wife of a millionaire. At the same time, a crime boss enlists Rick's help in discovering who fathered his impetuous daughter Alice's forthcoming child. Rick doesn't feel like he's making any headway in either case. The wife he's seeking doesn't want to be found, and the people she is hiding with turn out to be worse than the people she was hiding from. The daughter won't tell him who the father of her baby is, and she doesn't really want to settle down and be married, anyway-- but she makes it clear she wouldn't mind sleeping with Rick [again!]. All the city's attention is focused on the brutal murder of Elizabeth Short, the Black Dahlia, so it seems Rick alone is left find out what really happened to Laura Prendergast, and find a Daddy for Alice's baby. But when people keep warning Rick to mind his own business-- NOT TO MENTION knocking him out several times and trying to drown him-- he could swear the voices are familiar from both cases. What's the connection between Laura and Alice? And do either of them have a connection to the murder of the Black Dahlia? Jack Bludis does it again... this great book sets you squarely in another time and place for a few days, keeps you on your toes from the start, and delivers a satisfying conclusion. This would be a great book to read anytime, but especially so now, to get psyched up for the release of the new movie 'Black Dahlia.'Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.