LAND OF SHADOWS, by Rachel Howzell Hall

1/series starring LA Homicide Detective Elouise Norton. For a debut novel, this is impressive. The author has done her homework and constructed a fast-moving crime tale with a troubled, feisty, black, female cop as lead detective. At times I felt that the whole tale was built around check-lists (let's see, this is the place a character has to have final evidence of spousal betrayal...) but the many layers to the back story are very well revealed. Detective Norton catches a murder: a teen-aged girl, the location tying in to her own sister's long-ago and unsolved disappearance. Click below for more, but no spoilers...
The dead girl is not as her surface image projects, and Norton must delve into a seedy world of disenfranchised, fast-moving teenagers, the inconclusive evidence of her own feisty sister's disappearance, the lives of people whose past seems to bear no connections with that long-ago tragedy, and a host of new arrivals for worst-guy-or-gal-on-the-block. Plus her partner, the Tic Tac-addicted cowboy who can't keep his mouth shut. PLUS her philandering husband, working in Japan . . . but is that spicy female voice in the background his business associate or his current squeeze? All in all, an interesting read and a great start for a series. It;s a 4.
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