Dead Girls is an interesting premise – that we, in the United States – have an unhealthy obsession with women being murdered. At least that is the premise of the first third of the essays in this collection. Alice Bolin talks about shows like Dateline and podcasts like Serial to point out that when the victim is a dead woman, we are more interested. In my opinion (though she picked on Serial and I love Serial), the first third of this book was the best.
In the middle third of the book, Alice Bolin writes about Los Angeles. I actually liked this third as well because her view of LA is interesting. She discusses femme fatales and Raymond Chandler and Day of the Locust and Joan Didion and Hollywood. She manages to mix what seem like disparate topics into a free-flowing discussion of the weirdness that makes up LA. I honestly really enjoyed her discussion of Didion. I have tried so many times to read her, because being from California, she is considered the “LA” writer. But often times, I have found her writing to be off-putting and staged, for lack of a better word. Reading Alice Bolin’s thoughts about Didion helped me make sense of what I couldn’t make sense of before. So, for that, I applaud this book.
Being totally honest, the last third of the book lagged for me. It wasn’t my favorite. Despite the fact that I didn’t really like the last third, the prior two-thirds were so good, I recommend this book. I gave it three stars because the last third dragged. But if you are interested in true crime criticism and a fantastic discussion of LA, this is a good book to read.
I won this book from Goodreads and received no other compensation in exchange or this review. The opinions contained herein are mine and mine alone.