The Black Dahlia Study Guide

The Black Dahlia

The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy

Bucky arrives early on his first day. He is welcomed, both because of the fight and his work to get everyone the pay raise. Loew, the A.D.A., is not happy about Bucky getting the job over his friend’s son. He warns Bucky not to blow this opportunity.

Detective Vogel does not welcome Bucky. In fact, Vogel gets in trouble for working too closely with the District Attorney.

Lee tells Bucky he quit fighting when Benny Siegel, the gangster, started putting heat on him. Lee and Siegel became friends when Lee helped Siegel recover stolen money.

The men are looking to arrest Maynard, a child rapist. Bucky and Lee talk to Mrs. Albanese, the wife of a criminal who knows Maynard. She refuses to give up information, and Lee threatens to play Russian roulette with her dog. She tells them where her husband Bruno is working.

Bruno refuses to give out information until his face is smashed into a plate of food by Lee. He gives them Maynard’s address. Maynard is not home, but the officers now have the make, model, and license number of Maynard’s car.

Bucky arrests Maynard. Back at the station, Lee finds out Bobby De Witt, Kay’s criminal ex-boyfriend, will be paroled.

Bucky, Lee, and Kay quickly become friends, spending all their free time together in the fall of 1946. Bucky begins to fall in love with Kay.

As partners, Bucky and Lee work well together, especially in the interrogation room. Bucky notices Lee pops pills and tends to be overly aggressive. However, Bucky becomes a better cop because of what Lee teaches him.

On New Year’s Eve, Kay tells Bucky she loves him. Bucky does not have a chance to reply.

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