Monday, August 31, 2015

book review: City of Echoes by Robert Ellis

The backstory: Robert Ellis is one of my favorite mystery writers. His Lena Gamble series (City of Fire, The Lost Witness, and Murder Season) is extraordinarily good and criminally underappreciated. I've also enjoyed his earlier stand-alone novels Access to Power and The Murder Room (read before this blog, which means a long time ago.)

The basics: City of Echoes is the first in a new series featuring Los Angeles police detective Matt Jones, who catches a big case on his first night as a homicide detective.

My thoughts: Sometimes I have a hard time reviewing mysteries because so many things are not as they seem that by the end, I struggle to remember where I entered the story as a reader. City of Echoes is one of those mysteries. I read it while my in-laws were visiting (for the nomadbaby's first birthday), and I promptly asked my mother-in-law to read it. I'd given her copies of Ellis's earlier novels for holidays over the years, and she was excited to see he had a new one. Her husband read it next. In the span of two days, three of us read it (Mr. Nomadreader is behind the times), and we had an excellent discussion about it. It's rare that mysteries end with me still wanting to talk about things. To help me resist giving away any of this novel's delightful, surprising and horrific twists, just read it.

If you read this blog last year, you know that I read all 27 of Michael Connelly's novels last year. I was curious to see how Ellis would stack up, as they both heavily feature corruption in the LAPD and have similar writing styles filled with  twists. Ellis is every bit as good as I remembered. If you've read and enjoyed Connelly, please start reading Ellis. His backlist isn't as extensive, but it's just as good, and City of Echoes is the start of something great with Matt Jones.

Favorite passage: "Two eyewitnesses who had seen everything but, like most eyewitnesses, understood nothing, in spite of their seats in the front row."

The verdict: City of Echoes is a stunningly good police procedural. Jones is a dynamic character, but the mystery and frequent shocking twists take center stage here. If you want a compelling mystery that will keep you guessing, be nearly impossible to put down, and have you eagerly awaiting the next book after the last page has turned, then pick up City of Echoes.

Rating: 5 out of 5 
Length: 360 pages
Publication date: September 1, 2015
Source: publisher

Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy City of Echoes from Amazon (Kindle edition--only $4.99!)

Want more? Visit Robert Ellis's website, like him on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

As an affiliate, I receive a small commission when you make a purchase through any of the above links. Thank you for helping to support my book habits that bring more content to this blog!

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