Skip to main content

Land of Shadows by Rachel Howzell Hall

In the first UK published novel by Rachel Howzell Hall, we are introduced to Detective Elouise Norton. Based in Los Angeles, Elouise has just landed herself a new partner, a young fresh faced detective, Colin Taggert, who is yet to experience the hard work of LA homicide. 

Their first case together involves the strangulation of a teenage girl found on the building site of a high profile developer. Experienced and intuitive; Elouise suspects there is more to the case than a routine suicide. 

As they become more involved in the case and as the body count increases, Elouise finds that her own past where her own sister disappeared may have some bearing on the case. Or is she just letting the ghosts of her past cloud her judgement? 

There are a few suspects scattered throughout the story and little point of view snippets from the killer adds to the suspense. I really liked the character of Elouise. Balancing her past, her job and her marriage is not an easy thing but she handles her situations like any strong woman can. I thought her character and storyline was something akin to James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club, only grittier and more intense. 

I also enjoyed the start of her working relationship with Colin. You can tell that there is a certain clash of personality or view at times, but they work well together. I always think it’s quite important in crime novels for the lead detectives to have some kind of chemistry, and for the start of a new crime series, I think there is plenty of potential for a decent pair of crime fighters to develop further. 

Rachel Howzell Hall grounds the reader strongly in the location, depicting both the rich and poor areas of LA with detailed locations and convincing language. The prose is well crafted build suspense and keep the pages turning. 

Great characters and a well devised premise, this is a really impressive start to what I hope will be a gripping new crime series. Definitely one to try if you are crime fiction reader and Howzell Hall is definitely a name to watch out for in the future. 


Popular posts from this blog

Roald Dahl Books

“The success of a short story is simple, it must have a beginning, a middle and an end. The reader must never want to put it down.” – Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl was a huge part of my childhood reading. My sister and I had most of his books, from his single stories, picture and rhyming books and even a short story anthology. There was something magic about his way of storytelling that was the perfect mix of entertainment and genuinely engaging storyline. And of course who could forget the iconic illustrations by Quentin Blake!
One winning formula that I loved with a lot of his stories was the wily nature of the hero of the tale who would use cunning and brains in quite a humorous way to overcome their situation. For example in George’s Marvellous Medicine, my favourite part was always when George mixes his most foulest mixture of medicine to administer to his awful grandmother. And in Fantastic Mr Fox when he pulls of his amazing heist is another classic moment. 
There is usually quite a cl…

Goosebumps by R.L. Stine

Halloween is fast approaching. Pumpkins are appearing in shops, costumes are on sale and everyone bookish is discussing their favourite scary reads. With an abundance of skulls and spiders, ghosts and ghouls everywhere, it got me thinking about my own experiences of Halloween and relevant reads. 
Nothing to me, reminds me of Halloween in book terms than the Goosebumps books by American author R.L. Stine. They were a huge part of my literary childhood; my sister and I loved the spine tingling tales and collected many of the books. We had stand alone novels, the 3-in-1 collection books, Goosebumps 2000 series, and even a hardback Goosebumps book that wailed when you opened the cover! 
Since the release of the first novel, Welcome to Dead House in July 1992, the books gained immense popularity and commercial success worldwide. As of 2008, the series sold over 350 million books worldwide in 35 languages and has been listed on many bestseller lists, including the New York Times Best Selle…

The Salt Marsh - Prologue

It's my spot on The Salt Marsh blog tour today so below is the prologue from the novel by Clare Carson. Enjoy!
Monday 1 May 1978
Jim did his vanishing act the day of the spring fair. Sam was sitting in her room reading, the last of the apple blossom drifting past her window, Jim and the dog downstairs, her mother Liz and her sisters visiting the new baby of one of Liz’s old friends. Liz often went out on the days that Jim was at home. Her mother’s departure had been preceded by an argument. Sam had half heard Liz shouting, Jim shouting back, but hadn’t taken much notice because she had her head stuck in a book and, anyway, they always argued these days. Liz laughed, and that did catch Sam’s attention because there was something manic about the cackle. She clocked Liz yelling, ‘So if I want to know where you are, I’m supposed to call the fucking Home Secretary, am I?’ The front door crunched. Sam was glad to hide in her room, curled up on her beanbag with her book. As she read, s…