• Land of Shadows

  • Detective Elouise Norton, Book 1
  • By: Rachel Howzell Hall
  • Narrated by: Je Nie Fleming
  • Length: 10 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (367 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"A fresh voice in crime fiction. Fast, funny, heartbreaking and wise.... Elouise Norton is the best new character you'll meet this year." (Lee Child, New York Times best-selling author, on Rachel Howzell Hall's Land of Shadows)

Along the ever-changing border of gentrifying Los Angeles, 17-year-old Monique Darson is found dead at a condominium construction site, hanging in the closet of an unfinished unit. Homicide Detective Elouise "Lou" Norton's new partner, Colin Taggert, fresh from the comparatively bucolic Colorado Springs police department, assumes it's a teenage suicide. Lou isn't buying the easy explanation.   

For one thing, the condo site is owned by Napoleon Crase, a self-made millionaire...and the man who may have murdered Lou's missing sister, Tori, 30 years ago. As Lou investigates the death of Monique Darson, she uncovers undeniable links between the two cases. But her department is skeptical.   

Lou is convinced that when she solves Monique's case she will finally bring her lost sister home. But as she gets closer to the truth, she also gets closer to a violent killer. After all this time, can he be brought to justice...before Lou becomes his next victim?

©2014 Rachel Howzell Hall (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

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What listeners say about Land of Shadows

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

New Crime Fiction Series

I really enjoyed the first book of this new series! I heard an interview on NPR with black, crime fiction writers and thought I would research their topics. I was looking for a crime series that would keep me entertained and this hit the mark extremely well. I also had to admit, that I had not read many black authors in this genre and was excited to delve into a book with a different perspective. As a first book in a detective series the author did a great job introducing and developing the detective and her partner. It is set in LA and you should definitely give this a try. I've read many detective series over the years and this one is not trite, but also easy to get into. I enjoyed the plot, the twists, getting to know Elouise, her partner, family and friends. I'm starting the next one, which is what I was looking for. I also listened to this through Audible and the performer was FANTASTIC. As the book progresses there are more and more characters and she creates a new and believable voice for each one. I was very, very impressed and it made the book even more enjoyable.

12 people found this helpful

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Good!

I was looking for a black female detective novel and I found it! Detective Norton was funny, real, and tough. Liked that there was a twist at the end.
Will read the next in the series.

7 people found this helpful

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  • KO
  • 05-22-21

Narrative

The narrator should have pronounced the Lt’s as Rodriguez, not in an over pronounced Hispanic accent. It was quite disconcerting

6 people found this helpful

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  • B.
  • 11-24-19

WHAT?

This one is, well, let me just say, you will not see it coming. This book has a lot of twist, a lot of suspects and plenty of motives. But, well worth the walk through the weeds with the detectives as they attempt to solve a murder.

6 people found this helpful

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A Wonderful Discovery

I felt like I won the lottery when I discovered this book. Everything was wonderful, from the excellent narration to the story itself which was beautifully plotted and beautifully written. A perfect police procedural, everything done right.

6 people found this helpful

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Applause! Applause!Applause!

Fresh well done, the author was very thoughtful with dialogue. The mystery was not obvious but an entertaining journey.

3 people found this helpful

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Loved it

The performance was perfectly matched the the great writing. I can't wait to read more in this series

2 people found this helpful

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I’m hooked

Was looking for a couple of good detective authors and stumbled on Hall. Loved the first one. And the performance by Fleming kept me engaged on the story.

2 people found this helpful

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Good story, weird narration choices.

The story was a good, if fairly predictable, potboiler, though it still had some surprises up it’s sleeves at the end. Overall, an enjoyable read.

The narration was mostly good, but for some reason the narrator went into Speedy Gonzalez caricatures for Latino characters. The exaggerated rolling of the “r’s” in the characters name and exaggerated accent was off putting, bordering on offensive. Especially as the character is American, went to an American university, played American football…

1 person found this helpful

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Eloise Norton didn’t grow up in the real Jungle

I’ve lived in the Crenshaw area my entire life, and the portrayal of the area in Land of Shadows by Rachel Howzell Hall falls short. It lacks nuance collapsing the socioeconomic layers into one, making it all a ghetto, which it’s not. Howell gives the Los Angeles Times real estate section view of the area, which if you’ve read The Times Real Estate section, you know the Crenshaw area until very recently was all but unmentioned, even though View Park(Ike and Tina Turner lived there in the 60’s), Ladera Heights(informally called Pill Hill because so many doctors lived there), and Baldwin Hills(having similar vertiginous views as Hollywood Hills) are part of this so called ghettoscape created in the book. Sure the Jungle is and was rough, sure there are gangs, but there are also millionaires, doctors, lawyers, and engineers choosing to live in the area, unlike black Eloise Norton, who lives in a white neighborhood. Her examination of the good girl/bad girl dynamics is also superficial, and we are only treated to the bad girl side of the janus doll, not the good side and how the two reside in one person.
With all my misgivings about the depiction of the area, I loved the main character, Elouise Norton. She is smart, funny, entertaining, and likable, and I will probably read another book in the series, because of her, even though, and I now I’m harping, the police chase through the neighborhood cannot hold up to the scrutiny of someone who actually knows the streets of the Crenshaw District, it’s no wonder the British press thinks Megan Markle’s mother, who lives on a beautiful street in View Park, thinks of her as living in a gang ridden straight out of Compton-esque town- it’s because of books like this. I mean, Elouise ate barbecue, and didn’t mention Phillips…

1 person found this helpful