This is book number 1 in the Detective Elouise Norton series.
I'm on a mystery kick these days and it's going swimmingly because, well, there's loads of great books out there I haven't read. You may be familiar with the feeling! Rachel Howzell Hall's Detective Elouise Norton series began in 2014 and now there's four books in the series, each an exciting addition to the pantheon of southern California noir. In Land of Shadows, the first book, Lou is paired with a new partner and begins investigating the murder of a young black girl that may be tied to the disappearance of her sister. Hall's books combine twisted plots, crisp social commentary, and a fully realized main character (with humor, actual friends, and real family commitments!)— From Christina
"A fresh voice in crime fiction. Fast, funny, heartbreaking and wise...Elouise Norton is the best new character you'll meet this year." —Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author, on Rachel Howzell Hall's Land of Shadows
Along the ever-changing border of gentrifying Los Angeles, seventeen-year-old Monique Darson is found dead at a condominium construction site, hanging in the closet of an unfinished unit. Homicide detective Elouise "Lou" Norton's new partner, Colin Taggert, fresh from the comparatively bucolic Colorado Springs police department, assumes it's a teenage suicide. Lou isn't buying the easy explanation.
For one thing, the condo site is owned by Napoleon Crase, a self-made millionaire. . .and the man who may have murdered Lou's missing sister, Tori, thirty years ago. As Lou investigates the death of Monique Darson, she uncovers undeniable links between the two cases. But her department is skeptical.
Lou is convinced that when she solves Monique's case she will finally bring her lost sister home. But as she gets closer to the truth, she also gets closer to a violent killer. After all this time, can he be brought to justice. . .before Lou becomes his next victim?
"Gives voice to a rare figure in crime fiction: a highly complex, fully imagined black female detective." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review on Trail of Echoes
"Lou . . . is a formidable fighter--someone you want on your side." --New York Times Book Review
"A fresh voice in crime fiction." --Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author
"Hall..has a true gift.”—Crimespree Magazine
“Another smart LA procedural…this determined African American protagonist makes a wonderful addition to the genre.”--Booklist on Trail of Echoes
“Hall outdoes her stellar debut in an exploration of vile secrets that pays homage to that earlier master of complex California homicide, Raymond Chandler.”—Kirkus Reviews on Skies of Ash
“Rachel Howzell has written another riveting thriller starring her favorite (and mine!) female sleuth, the fabulous when furious and even better when behaving Lou Norton…one of the summer's best.”—Huffington Post on Skies of Ash
"A racially explosive Los Angeles provides the backdrop for this exceptional crime novel...Dead-on dialogue and atmospheric details help propel a tale full of tormenting moral issues. Lou, a brave lady in a brave book, does the best she can." —Publishers Weekly, starred review on Land of Shadows