On the trail of a killer

2007-02-01 00:00

A thriller that comes with a recommendation from Michael Connelly on the cover should have something going for it, I thought.

Unfortunately, not much in this case. Like Connelly's series featuring detective Harry Bosch this is a blend of thriller and police procedural.

It kicks off with a horrific killing of a woman which sees Detective Lena Gamble assigned to her first major case since joining the robbery-homicide division of the LAPD. At first the husband looks good for the murder but gradually the cops begin to realise they are facing a serial killer. Meanwhile Gamble is still coming to grips with the murder of her brother five years previously and this case soon throws his killing back into the spotlight.

City of Fire takes quite a while to ignite, something not helped by Robert Ellis's nondescript prose and clumsy plotting. Even the ending fails to satisfy. Not recommended, unless you feel like Silence of the Lambs-lite.

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