Trail of Echoes: the latest Elouise Norton novel from critically acclaimed writer Rachel Howzell Hall.
On a rainy spring day in Los Angeles, homicide detective Elouise "Lou" Norton is called away from a rare lunch date to Bonner Park, where the body of thirteen-year-old Chanita Lords has been discovered. When Lou and her partner, Colin Taggert, take on the sad task of informing Chanita's mother, Lou is surprised to find herself in the apartment building she grew up in.
Chanita was interested in photography and, much like Lou, a girl destined to leave the housing projects behind. Her death fits a chilling pattern of exceptional girls--dancers, artists, honors scholars-gone recently missing in the same school district, the one Lou attended not so long ago.
Lou is valiantly trying to make a go of life after her divorce and doing everything she can to avoid her long estranged father. She races to catch a serial killer, but he remains frustratingly out of her reach, sending cryptic cyphers and taunting clues that arrive too late to prevent the next death. This one is personal, and it's only a matter of time before he comes after Lou herself.
"Gives voice to a rare figure in crime fiction: a highly complex, fully imagined black female detective." - Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
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When the body of 13-year-old Chanita Lords turns up in a duffel bag in a park early in Hall's suspenseful third mystery featuring LAPD homicide detective Elouise "Lou" Norton (after 2015's Skies of Ash), Lou and her partner, Colin Taggart, initially focus on a sex offender who's a neighbor of the victim in the housing projects, but it's soon obvious things are not quite what they seem. In the sprawling Los Angeles cityscape, racial tensions still run deep, and the dogged Lou, who grew up in the same projects as Chanita, is careful never to forget where she was raised and how far she's come. She's also witty, and the banter between her and Colin brings some welcome levity to the dark deeds they're investigating. Meanwhile, recently divorced Lou is getting used to being single, and her father, who left her when she was a kid, reenters her life. Readers weary of the dour, pessimistic detectives so common to genre can relate to Lou. Those hungry for chills will be satisfied as the action builds to a surprising, terrifying climax.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Well Written Suspenseful Novel
I really enjoy the Lou Norton series and this one touches on a crime that America ignores: missing black girls. This well written story tugs at your heart strings and that’s what separates this crime fiction from other stories. Howzell Hall does an excellent job of making real the faceless and voiceless victims and the members of their poverty stricken community. I also love that Lou is not the stereotypical cop. She’s into fashion, especially high-end shoes!