Skies of Ash is another thrilling read in the Detective Elouise Norton series from author-to-watch Rachel Howzell Hall.
Los Angeles homicide detective Elouise "Lou" Norton and her partner, Colin Taggert, arrive at the scene of a tragic house fire. Juliet Chatman perished in the blaze, along with her two children. Left behind is grieving husband and father Christopher Chatman, hospitalized after trying to rescue his family. Chatman is devastated that he couldn't save them.
Unless, of course, he's the one who killed them.
Neighbors and family friends insist the Chatmans were living the dream. But Lou quickly discovers the reality was very different. The flames of adultery, jealousy, scandal, fraud, and disease had all but consumed the Chatmans' marriage before it went up in smoke.
Lou's own marriage hangs by a thread. Soured by the men in her life, Lou is convinced that Chatman started the fire. Her colleagues worry that her personal issues are obscuring her judgment. With very little evidence regarding the fire—and rising doubts about her husband's commitment to monogamy—Lou feels played by all sides.
Was the fire sparked by a serial arsonist known as The Burning Man? Or by the Chatmans' son, who regularly burned his father's property?
Searching for justice through the ashes of a picture-perfect family, Lou doesn't know if she will catch an arsonist or be burned in the process.
"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
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
In Hall's emotionally laden second outing for L.A. homicide detective Elouise "Lou" Norton (after 2014's Land of Shadows), Lou investigates a suspicious house fire that killed Juliet Chatman and her two kids, eight-year-old Chloe and 12-year-old Cody. Christopher Chatman, Juliet's husband, who arrived when the house was in flames, was injured trying to save them. The Chatmans appear to have been an ideal family, but Lou soon learns otherwise: Juliet had serious health concerns and Christopher was stumbling in his career as a commodities broker. Autopsies reveal that all three victims had been drugged, suggesting murder. Lou is sure that Christopher is behind the killings, but the Chatmans' best friends insurance attorney Ben Oliver, and his lawyer wife, Sarah believe Christopher is innocent. Meanwhile, Lou has to fight through her own problems with her unfaithful husband, Greg. This soap opera of a mystery builds to a startling conclusion.