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Jean ​Ellroy was murdered in 1958. Her body was dumped on a roadway in a run-down L.A. suburb. The killer was never found. The case was closed. It was a sordid back-page homicide that nobody remembered.
Except her son. James Ellroy was ten years old when his mother died. His bereavement was complex and ambiguous. He grew up obsessed with murdered women and crime. His life spun hellishly out of control. He ran from the ghost of Jean Ellroy. He became a writer of radically provocative and best-selling crime novels. He tried to reclaim his mother through fiction. It didn’t work. He quit running and wrote this memoir.
My Dark Places is Jean Ellroy’s and James Ellroy’s story – from 1958 to all points past and up to this moment. It is the story of a brilliant homicide detective named Bill Stoner, and of the investigation he and James Ellroy undertook to find Jean Ellroy’s killer. My Dark Places is unflinching autobiography and vivid reportage. It is no less than a treatise on 38 years of American murder. It is James Ellroy’s journey into and through his most forbidding memories.

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