It is fire season, and the hills of Los Angeles are burning. Fire Department personnel rush to evacuate the inhabitants, and find the days-old corpse of a middle-aged recluse who apparently committed suicide. Clutched in his lap is a photo album containing photographs of seven young women who have been murdered, each photograph was taken only ...
It is fire season, and the hills of Los Angeles are burning. Fire Department personnel rush to evacuate the inhabitants, and find the days-old corpse of a middle-aged recluse who apparently committed suicide. Clutched in his lap is a photo album containing photographs of seven young women who have been murdered, each photograph was taken only moments after the women were killed. One murder per year for seven years, their bodies found in different parts of the city. LAPD homicide detectives had never connected the seven murders. But now with the discovery of the "death album" these seven murders have been linked, and the news for Elvis Cole is bad...Only one suspect had been charged in any of those cases, that being for the murder of victim #4. LAPD and the LA County District Attorney had a recorded confession by the suspect and believed him to be the murderer. But, with evidence supplied by Elvis Cole, in the end he walked free. That suspect was the suicide now discovered in the fire, Elliot Martin. Did Cole's action three years ago free a killer to commit more murders? Did Elvis cost three young women their lives?
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Forced evacuations during one of Los Angeles's many wildfires lead to the discovery of a man who's been dead for several days, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot. Found near the body: a "memory book" with graphic photos of seven murdered women, photos that could only have been taken by the killer himself. Two years earlier evidence discovered by Elvis Cole helped to clear this man of the murder of one of the women...and two of the murders have taken place since then.
Elvis Cole, although he knows that his evidence was good, proven by a time-stamped security tape, is compelled to take up the case on his own--sometimes in concert with and sometimes in opposition to the LAPD--to find the real killer. Joe Pike is, of course, along for the ride (and how much more deeply we can appreciate this character, after last year's The Watchman, which was Pike-centric), as are several LAPD uniforms and detectives we know from Elvis Cole outings past.
As always, Crais constructs a tight, well-written thriller, driven by his PI's need to reach the truth. Crais loves L.A., and his descriptions of this sprawling city shine.
Chasing Darkness is highly recommended, and not only for those who've read other Elvis Cole novels. Any good series with a recurring character allows you to pick up anywhere, and Crais is among the best.
Publishers Weekly, 2008-08-25 After earning a law degree, James Daniels quit recording audiobooks, but returned to read Crais's newest Elivis Cole and Joe Pike mystery (his previous Crais recordings include The Forgotten Man, Hostage, The Last Detective, Lullaby Town and The Watchman). It's a welcome return and Daniel's no-nonsense reading elevates one of Crais's lesser efforts and turns it into an enjoyable listening experience. Slipping back into these characters, Daniels easily distinguishes Cole's wise-guy banter from Pike's steely resolution, and he gives this outing's enigmatic villain, Lionel Byrd, just the right note of weirdness. A fire unearths evidence that someone Cole helped prove innocent of murdering a prostitute six years ago may actually have been guilty--and may have killed many other women. Cole and Pike dodge bullets as they dig around to find out the truth. A Simon & Schuster hardcover (Reviews, May 19). (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2008-05-19 Crais returns L.A. PI Elvis Cole to center stage after 2007's The Watchman, which showcased Cole's partner, Joe Pike, though Cole doesn't wisecrack as much as usual and he has only a few scenes with close friends to reveal his warmth and decency. This one is all about plot; the story opens with a bang and never slows. While clearing houses in the path of a forest fire in Laurel Canyon, police officers find the body of Lionel Byrd, an apparent suicide. Three years earlier, Cole, working for Byrd's attorney, uncovered evidence that cleared Byrd of a murder charge. Now new evidence suggests that he was guilty of that murder and six others, two of them committed after Cole helped exonerate him. Torn by guilt, Cole plunges into his own investigation, which leads in startling directions. Established fans will enjoy a dramatic story built not on mere twists but on hard 90-degree turns. To get the full richness of Cole and Pike, new readers should start with one of the early novels. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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