The book’s dust jacket will give you the nitty
gritty, but there is so much more to the story than that.
There are many reasons why I recommend this
series (City of Fire, Lost Witness) --
strong, interesting and dysfunctional characters, a good mix of old fashioned
detective work with heart pounding action, and protagonist Lena Gamble, a
Homicide Special detective in the elite Robbery Homicide Division for the city
of Los Angeles.
The character of Lena Gamble as established by
Robert Ellis is a homicide detective without the drawbacks sometimes associated
with female police officers – sexual harassment, not being accepted by other
detectives, etc. Granted, she does seem to have her fair share of run-ins and
stone walling by higher ups but that comes with the territory.
Season certainly lives up to its title. The homicides actually begin before
the first chapter and continue throughout, each a careful response to a
perceived threat to our villain. The investigation is hampered by the District
Attorney’s office and lost evidence. Just when you think you know the who and
the why, you don’t. Just when you think you know a character (alive or dead),
you’re wrong again.
There is one character in particular who totally
blindsided me and Lena. And the emotional rollercoaster that comes with this
character’s revelation becomes the crux of the last third of the story. The
story does come to a most fitting conclusion with the very last sentence (but
please don’t cheat yourself and read ahead).
If you are looking for a cozy, this is not it.
However, should you favor Michael Connelly or T. Jefferson Parker, you should
enjoy Murder Season.