Ellis, Robert. City of Echoes.

Seattle: Thomas Mercer, 2015.

This author is new to me, though he appears to have done half a dozen previous novels. Matt Jones is an LAPD detective newly assigned to Robbery/Homicide — the gold ring for Los Angeles cops — and he’s supposed to be meeting his best friend and mentor on the force for a celebratory supper when he’s called to a murder scene down the block from the restaurant — which turns out to be his friend, dead in a hail of large-caliber lead, apparently a victim of a robber the media calls the Three-Piece Bandit.

They were in Afghanistan together, Hughes was the one who convinced him to leave Jersey and come out to LA, and Jones is in shock. He’s a little too tightly wrapped in the first place, due to his own family background, and he insists the investigation is his — quite against established policy, but the department is shorthanded, so. . . .

Jones isn’t thrilled with his new partner, either, who seems decidedly non-supportive and may be a spy for their lieutenant. And it won’t take long before he stumbles into a lethal conspiracy within the department. And then there’s the guy in the silver Nissan who keeps tailing him around town rather inexpertly. And there’s a serial killer murdering young, innocent girls in an extremely nasty way.

And Ellis has to labor somewhat to bring it all together, but he manages, more or less. And when you think you’ve reached the big climax, you discover there are still fifty pages to go, and more puzzles to solve. It’s a pretty good read and I’ll be hunting up Ellis’s earlier work.


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