Trail of Echoes: Detective Elouise Norton (Book 3)
by Rachel Howzell Hall
“A young girl is dead and many more are missing…
Detective Elouise ‘Lou’ Norton is called to Bonner Park, where the body of thirteen-year-old Chanita Lords has been found. Lou discovers that the victim lived in the same building where she herself grew up, and Chanita was clearly exceptional, destined to leave the housing projects behind. Not only that, but several other talented girls have gone missing. When she receives taunting clues that arrive too late to prevent another death, lou knows that it’s only a matter of time before the killer comes after her…”
I got a press release email from Titan Books about Trail of Echoes and I liked the sound of it, so I asked for a review copy. About a week before its publishing date I received my review copy and started it just after Scarlet Rain. I have not read either of the previous two books in the Elouise Norton series. So I am going in pretty much blind, and I can say whether it is better to read the previous books or not from actual experience of not reading them. And the verdict is: I think it would be better to have read the previous books as I found it hard to get a connection with the characters.
Elouise’s homicide team have to find the killer of a teenage girl, not any teenage girl, but one from Elouise’s childhood home. She is found in Bonner Park and lived in The Jungle, then they realise that other girls from The Jungle have also gone missing. Meanwhile, The Jungle is in the middle of a race-war, not helped by the fact that the girl that has just been killed is black and one of the suspects is Mexican.
The characters were really well established, and that is because it is the third book in the series, so it is great in that way, but because I have not seen them grow and develop through the previous books nor do I know any of their history, it was a bit hard going trying to get a connection with them. My favourite characters were Elouise Norton and Colin Taggert, they had a good partnership going on without being over the top that some crime novels and tv shows do. Elouise is a fantastic main character, so polished and developed, it is amazing. I love the way in this book you get to see her going back to her roots and where she came from, you find out a lot about her while still having a great main story.
I found the story a bit hard to get into, again I think this may be down to not having read the previous books, but I persevered and I am so glad I did, because it is a fabulous story with plenty of twists and turns, it had me on a rollercoaster for each of the little storylines and the main one. Totally had me guessing and going through the emotions, amazing!
Trail of Echoes does end on a cliffhanger, I presume that there is another book to come in the Elouise Norton series, at least I hope so, because I now want to know what happens next! I also think I will be going back and reading the first two books at some point.
I would say that Trail of Echoes is a crime novel that would appeal to a wider audience. If you have not tried crime novels before, have a go at it and surprise yourself. 4 out of 5.