Saturday, July 02, 2016

Five novels inspired by sensational chapters in history

Jeff Somers is the author of Lifers, the Avery Cates series from Orbit Books, Chum from Tyrus Books, and We Are Not Good People from Pocket/Gallery. He has published over thirty short stories as well. One of Somers's five most surprising books that turn out to be based on things that actually happened, as shared at B&N Reads:
The Black Dahlia, by James Ellroy
Historical Inspiration: Elizabeth Short

Ellroy’s modern classic was the book that made people sit up and take notice of him as a serious author instead of just a successful genre writer, and the novel takes its inspiration from the oldest unsolved murder in the history of Los Angeles, that of Elizabeth Short. She was nicknamed the Black Dahlia by newspapers covering her case in 1947, a case that has many theories and players but no real answers. Ellroy used the notorious murder as a jumping-off point for depicting his version of 1940s L.A. as a quagmire of corruption and sin, resulting in one of the best noir novels ever written, a story that skillfully blends fiction and fact into a mesmerizing tableau of modern horror.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Black Dahlia appears among Lynda La Plante's six best books and Jonathan Kellerman's six favorite books, and on David Bowman's list of five great noir novels from the post-Chandler generations.

--Marshal Zeringue