Judith D Collins
City of Echoes
By: Robert Ellis
Series: Detective Matt Jones, #1
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: 9/1/2015
My Rating: 4 Stars
On Detective Matt Jones’s first night working Homicide in LA, he’s called to investigate a particularly violent murder case: a man has been gunned down in a parking lot off Hollywood Boulevard, his bullet-riddled body immediately pegged as the work of a serial robber who has been haunting the Strip for months.
Driven by the grisliness of the killing, Jones and his hot-tempered partner, Denny Cabrera, jump headfirst into the investigation. But as Jones uncovers evidence that links the crime to a brutal, ritualized murder that occurred eighteen months prior, he begins to suspect that there’s more going on beneath the surface. When Jones discovers shocking, deep-seated corruption; a high-level cover-up; and his own personal ties to the rising body count, he’s no longer sure he can trust anyone, even himself.
A special thank you to Thomas & Mercer and Netalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Robert Ellis introduces a gritty, new LA Homicide cop, Matthew Trevor Jones, the first in the series, CITY OF ECHOES an intense, fast-paced Hollywood noir-style detective crime thriller. Matt Jones is excited about celebrating his promotion to Hollywood Homicide, with his friend over dinner and drinks, when he receives a call from his supervisor, Bob Grace. He is to start the following day. An emergency, with a warning. Somebody has been murdered in Hollywood. He and his partner, Danny Cabrera--almost as green as Matt, with just three months under his belt working in Hollywood, happen to be the only choices for this assignment. Between the economy and the budget cutbacks from Washington and Sacramento—cops had been pulled off the street and crime had become a burgeoning industry. So both men had been fast-tracked to Homicide—his celebration will need to be postponed. He texted his buddy. Now, it is show time.The combination of excitement and terror. A violent murder case, a man gunned down in a parking lot off Hollywood Blvd – A serial robber? The victim—is it someone he knows? The murder victim had just received a text—dinner off. Call ME. From him? Could it be Hughes? The SUV--Kevin Hughes had been more than a friend to him. More than a mentor. After their tour of duty in Afghanistan, it had been Hughes who convinced Matt to write off his troubles by leaving the east coast and moving to LA Hughes took him under his wing. Now he has to tell Kevin's wife. She will devastated. Where was Hughes partner, Frankie Lane? Something was going on? He senses something. Something familiar. Matt had transferred from the Pacific Division but was aware of the string of holdups that had been occurring in Hollywood, and along the Strip. The three-piece urban bandit. Cabrera, goes back to the station and tells Grace, Matt may not be able to handle the case, since he and Hughes were friends. It may be too much for him. When they saw the video tapes; by the time they reached the SUV and saw Hughes body; the three-piece bandit, the cop killer in the hooded sweatshirt was long gone. His new partner thinks he cannot handle the case – they had too much history. Matt is mad as hell at Cabrera, and an overheated argument. It is his case. He had seen his friend gunned down on video. They need to get this guy off the street. Grace is acting weird and nervous and something stinks about the entire situation. Something is off. When another detective’s suspicious death points to a police frame-up of an innocent man in the first of a series of murders, Matt cannot trust his partner, or his boss. Actually, who can he trust. Evil or good? Corruption? A cover-up? Greed? He has to put the pieces together. What is the motive? In addition to all his stress, and paranoia, he is worried about Kevin’s widow, Laura and his own past, the father who betrayed him and his mother- his demons. It haunts him. Will Matt come unglued and be able to hold up under the pressure and stress, or completely unravel, before he uncovers what is going down. There has to be a missing piece? Is his dad out to get him? Does he have another life? The Greedy Bastard? In the meantime, Jones uncovers evidence linking the crime to a brutal murder, eighteen months ago. There is something more going on and he is in deep. So he has two choices to back off or dive in. A deep seated, high-level cover up and the body count is rising. More complications. There’s a problem and it’s in Hollywood. It has something to do with the investigation of the serial killer. Why do the arresting officers start dying? Why do murders continue after the presumed killer is caught? Someone is protecting a secret? A betrayal? Pretending. A copycat? Could someone be trying to throw them off the real killer? Transferring the blame to the three-piece bandit, or the dirty cops? Could there be something bigger in play? When Matt thinks he is finally linking the pieces of the mystery, he has to play along in order to gather more information.Blurring the lines between good and evil. A complex fast-paced detective mystery cop procedural-- full of red herrings, with twists and turns with every page turn. A flawed main character, with one problem after another, coming at him full force. Better keep up, with more dead and characters than you can possibly name. Can he survive the pressure? In addition to the electronic reading copy, also purchased the audio, due to travel. The narrator Nick Podehl was an ideal match, with the perfect voice for Ellis’ novel's tone of an old classic detective movie; matching the intensity. Chasing Down The One! The writing was clever with seamless connections of the multi-layered storylines. EVIL! Many hidden meanings with the word “echoes”, when reading between the lines- a clever title. My second book by Ellis, after listening to THE DEAD ROOM, narrated by Jim McCance. Highly recommend both, and look forward to more. With the cliffhanger ending (I am dying), fans will have to wait and see what is next for Ellis’ new main man. Does Matt have what it takes to survive? Will Ellis' Jones, have as many lives as Connelly’s Harry Bosch or Mickey Haller, or Evanovich’s Joseph Morelli and Plum? More to come with, The Love Killings (Detective Matt Jones #2) coming, 8/2/2016!
About the Author
Robert Ellis is the international bestselling author of Access to Power, The Dead Room, and the critically acclaimed Lena Gamble Novels. His books have been translated into more than ten languages and selected as top reads by Booklist, Publishers Weekly, National Public Radio, the Chicago Tribune, the Toronto Sun, the Guardian (UK), the Evening Telegraph (UK), People magazine, USA Today, and the New York Times. Born in Philadelphia, Ellis moved to Los Angeles to work as a writer, producer, and director in film, television, and advertising. For more information about Robert Ellis: Website