The Black Dahlia: A Slick Noir Crime Thriller
J.C. Macek III
SpellBound Books (March 30, 2024)
Reviewed by Nora B. Peevy

This is the fourth novel in the Jake Slater Private Detective series. Wow! Not only was I impressed by the fantastic dialogue exchanges and the creative action-packed fight scenes where Jake Slater always manages to escape just by the hair on his head, but the thorough research that went into this book is remarkable. It doesn’t hurt that it’s set in glamorous Hollywood during the time when crime boss, Bugsy Siegel was running the crime syndicate and Hollywood was still a place with style and panache.

The incredible choreographed fight scenes combined with the fast-talking characters makes for an engaging thriller and I must admit The Black Dahlia is one of the crimes close to my heart. J.C. Macek III writes with a gritty humor suiting the period. I had the pleasure of speaking with him about his novel and learned he was able to gather his research, including the autopsy report and FBI file online, but it takes true finesse and skill to turn a crime into a story a reader will engage with. At six hundred pages, this is one of the longest true crime thrillers I’ve read, but it is worth every page, and since J.C. Macek III is also writing in his own backyard, he brings a unique perspective based on the culture, towns, and architecture of the area.

The haunted and beautiful smalltown actress, Elizabeth Short, aka The Black Dahlia, jumps to life on the pages with so much vivid detail I felt like she was my best girlfriend. All the characters are well-rounded in this novel, even the lesser ones. I’m glad I snagged this one. Pick this book up and prepare yourself for an exciting adventure.

About Nora B. Peevy

Nora B. Peevy is a cat trapped in a human’s body. Please send help or tuna. She toils away for JournalStone and Trepidatio Publishing as a submissions reader, is a co-editor for Alien Sun Press, the newest reviewer for Hellnotes, and has been published by Eighth Tower Press, Weird Fiction Quarterly, and other places. Usually, you can find her on Facebook asking for help escaping from her human body or to get tuna. Tuna is nice. Cats like tuna.

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