This is the first in a new series by this author (who has won an Edgar Award in the past and apparently has just won another award for this one). It introduces rookie LAPD Office Ellie Rush. Twenty-three years old, Ellie has followed in the footsteps of her aunt, the #2 person in the LAPD, Assistant Chief Cheryl Toma. Which appears to be both a blessing and a curse.
Ellie is a member of the Central Division’s Bicycle Coordination Unit, i.e., a bicycle cop, but her dream is to become a detective. She is of mixed ethnicity: Her dad is white, her mother Japanese-American. In the opening pages, she comes across flyers posted in the neighborhood, and recognizes the photo of a missing girl as that of Jenny Nguyen, a Vietnamese-American girl who was her friend and college classmate. Not long after, the police find Jenny, shot to death.
Jenny’s world is rocked. She is already in a difficult place, having recently broken up with her boyfriend of two years Her brother, Noah, is heavy into smoking pot, to which her father responds by saying that “based on neurological studies, the brain of a teenage boy is not fully developed, and my brother is a perfect example of that. Half human, half swamp creature.” More violence follows, and Jenny resolves to catch the killer.
Jenny is a wonderful protagonist, conflicted about her work but with good instincts. Two things she learns early on: Trust no one, and stay one step ahead of everyone else. The author includes a lot of geographic descriptive material, as well as a great deal of culinary information on the availability of ethnic restaurants in the LA area. A very entertaining novel, and one that is recommended....Continua