American novelist JAMES ELLROY is delighted with Brian De Palma's big screen adaptation of his best-selling novel The Black Dahlia. Ellroy, whose books La Confidential and Wonder Boys have also been turned into movies, is amazed the Scarface film-maker was able to turn such a long novel into a perfectly abridged film - without losing any of its substance. He says, "It's a brilliantly conceived and executed abridgment of what is a very long novel. In its form it is very beautiful, more so than I could have imagined. "When the producer told me that Brian de Palma had been signed up, I was over the moon." The Black Dahlia, which stars real-life lovers Scarlett Johansson and Josh Hartnett, follows two detectives investigating the murder of a 1940s actress.