Sharp-witted homicide detective Lou Norton returns in Trail of Echoes, the 3rd instalment of her series. Her job is more grisly and demanding than ever, but having experienced her fair share of tragedy, she can empathise with murder victims and their families. Lou is still grappling with her divorce and the reappearance of her estranged father. Once again, her troubling past creeps up on her and threatens to interfere with an investigation.
In Lou’s latest case, 13-year-old Chanita Lords is found dead in a park and turns out to be from her old neighbourhood, nicknamed ‘the Jungle’. Chanita may be linked to the other young black girls missing from the Jungle; it seems that someone is targeting gifted and ambitious teenagers. Lou’s personal connection with the area makes her all the more determined to avenge the deaths of the girls who would’ve made it out of the Jungle like she did.The predator deliberately leaves clues when a victim is taken, indicating that he wants to be caught by Lou specifically. He boasts by leaving strange postcards, puzzling ciphers and figurines related to Ancient Greece. There are several persons of interest in the neighbourhood, but only one person is smart enough to play a serious game to get to Lou. Yet again, Lou is prepared to risk her life to get to the bottom of the case.
Not only does Trail of Echoes have a tense, addictive and disturbing plot, it includes charismatic characters that are brought to life through entertaining, life-like dialogue. Rachel Howzell Hall shows the dark elements of LA that tourists don’t always see: poverty, racism and brutal crime. She also weaves in some wry humour among the horrors, such as people taking crime scene selfies. Lou is a sarcastic, fearless and often downright scary detective, making this an unforgettable thriller.