Author Topic: true crime books  (Read 5015 times)


  • Hipparch
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on: March 09, 2010, 03:02:40 AM
I haven't read too many true crime books, but I am totally hooked on The Black Dahlia Avenger.

A retired LA detective's father dies.  The father was a brilliant, charismatic man who's children loved him despite his being strange, aloof, and secretive.  When younger the father threw wild parties and went through several wives and families.  As he got older the son had finally started connecting with his father and just has he felt their relationship was deepening the father simply dies of old age.  In trying to get to know his father better, the son comes across an tiny, old photo album with pictures of some of the wives, some of the kids, his own (the son's) ex-wife, and Elizabeth Short.  Elizabeth Short is also known as The Black Dahlia, and was the victim of one of (if not the) most brutal unsolved murders in American history.  So now the son uses his detective skills to find out why Short was such an important person to his father.  He researches her life and his and uncovers seriously creepy, horrific stuff about his own father, discovers horrible things happened among his family members in his own house when he was a child.

This reminds me of what I thought was the scariest part of the Communion book, when Streiber realizes that the alien visitations aren't a recent occurrence , but have been happening his whole life.

I'm about half-way through the thing and it's totally freaking me out and I can't stop reading it.  Has anyone here read this one.  Are there others you guys like?


  • Hipparch
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Reply #1 on: March 09, 2010, 02:23:37 PM
from your description I think that book is what was adapted into the movie The Black Dahlia

I enjoyed the movie, so I would probably like the book.  I don't usually read too much true crime either, though I vaguely recall reading something about Albert Fish, after finding out that much of Psycho was based on him.


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Reply #2 on: March 09, 2010, 04:55:08 PM
It's not the same book the movie was based on. That book was written by James Ellroy and followed a different storyline. But aside from the horrorific murder, I suspsect it has some similar themes in it as well (descent into madness, obsession, etc.).

For anyone interested, Ellroy's also the guy who wrote L.A. Confidential and American Tabloid (which is one of the most disturbing, twisted, great books I've ever read. If you liked Mort Castle's "I Am Your Need" you should check it out. A dirty love letter to America in the 50s and 60s.


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Reply #3 on: March 11, 2010, 06:48:52 PM
I've got Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil on my shelf; I think my mom lent it to me some years ago, but I've not read it yet (nor seen the film).

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Reply #4 on: March 11, 2010, 09:51:34 PM
I've got Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil on my shelf; I think my mom lent it to me some years ago, but I've not read it yet (nor seen the film).
that book is apparently set in the law firm (or set around it) that a cousin of mine runs.  And I think one of te characters is based off of him.  At least that's what I've been told.
Never read it myself

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?

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Reply #5 on: April 03, 2010, 03:41:44 AM
The only true crime I can think of that I've read is IN COLD BLOOD by Truman Capote.  Anyone who hasn't read it should immediately drop what they are working on and get it immediately, it's that good. 

I've heard good things about MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN ETC. but I haven't yet been interested enough to take a look at it.

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Reply #6 on: April 05, 2010, 09:17:22 PM
I've got Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil on my shelf; I think my mom lent it to me some years ago, but I've not read it yet (nor seen the film).

I was greatly entertained by this movie.  Kevin Spacey doesn't get *all* the good lines, just most of 'em.  (I'll resist the urge to start quoting 'em.)


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Reply #7 on: April 10, 2010, 10:29:44 PM
I've read most of the books by Harold Schecter, which were quite good, and the first iteration of Zodiac, the one with the yellow cover published before Arthur Lee Allen died. Another good one was "The Last Victim" I can't remember the author's name, but he was a college kid who started writing to imprisoned serial killers, and eventually struck up a relationship with John Wayne Gayce. It was VERY good.

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