cover image Any Resemblance to Actual Persons

Any Resemblance to Actual Persons

Kevin Allardice. Counterpoint (PGW, dist.), $24 (240p) ISBN 978-1-61902-197-6

Allardice’s debut novel has an unusual conceit: in 1996, a New York publisher is preparing to release Edith McWeeney’s The Dahlia Dossier: Hollywood’s Most Notorious Killer Revealed, in which the author attempts to prove that her father, George McWeeney, was the murderer in the notorious unsolved 1947 Black Dahlia case. Paul McWeeney, Edith’s brother, writes a long letter to the publisher (which forms the novel’s text) refuting that claim. A teacher at a junior college in L.A. and aspiring writer, he identifies with and even idealizes his late father. As his protest letter takes on its own life, we witness Paul’s own delusional world and self-destructive obsessions. Alas, he can be a pedantic bore. Allardice does a great job, however, of satirizing some key players of today’s Black Dahlia mythos—John Gilmore, Steve Hodel, and especially James Ellroy. This is not, finally, about the case so much as it is about the fragility of memory and one man’s reckoning with failure and dissolution. Agent: Nathaniel Jacks, Inkwell Management. (Sept.)