It s fire season, and the hills of Los Angeles are burning. When police and fire department personnel rush door to door in a frenzied evacuation effort, they discover the week-old corpse of an apparent suicide, in his lap a photo album of seven brutally murdered young women. And when the suicide victim is identified as a former suspect in one of ...
It s fire season, and the hills of Los Angeles are burning. When police and fire department personnel rush door to door in a frenzied evacuation effort, they discover the week-old corpse of an apparent suicide, in his lap a photo album of seven brutally murdered young women. And when the suicide victim is identified as a former suspect in one of the murders, the news turns Elvis Cole s world upside down. Three years earlier Lionel Byrd was brought to trial for the murder of a female prostitute named Yvonne Bennett. A taped confession coerced by the police inspired a prominent defense attorney to take Byrd s case, and Elvis Cole was hired to investigate. It was Cole s eleventh-hour discovery of an exculpatory videotape that allowed Lionel Byrd to walk free. But the discovery of the death album in Byrd s lap now brands Elvis as an unwitting accomplice to murder. Captured in photographs that could only have been taken by the murderer, Yvonne Bennett was the fifth of the seven victims two more young women were murdered after Lionel Byrd walked free. So Elvis can t help but wonder did he, Elvis Cole, cost two more young women their lives? Elvis Cole and Joe Pike desperately fight to uncover the truth about Lionel Byrd and his nightmare album of death a truth hidden by lies, politics, and corruption in a world where nothing is what it seems to be. "
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.
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