Monday, August 11, 2008


A routine fire evacuation turns up the body of Lionel Byrd, who, three years earlier, was cleared of suspicion in the murder of a prostitute thanks to evidence found by Elvis Cole. Byrd is now found in possession of an album containing grotesque photos of seven murders, including the one Elvis investigated. While everyone else easily accepts Byrd was the killer, Elvis is driven to find out for himself.

Since 1999's L.A. Requiem, Crais has used multiple viewpoints to tell his stories, contrasting the first-person perspective of his earlier Cole novels. With the exception of the prologue and one section from the recurring Carol Starkey, Chasing Darkness is told by Cole. This emphasizes how personal the case is to Cole and preserves the doubt he feels throughout the novel.

I wouldn't call this a return to form. All of Crais's books are well researched and compellingly written, but it's nice to know he can still tell a fine story mostly in Elvis's voice.

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