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by Rachel Howzell Hall

LAND OF SHADOWS by Rachel Howzell Hall

* Foreign sales: British 2 books (Titan Books)

* LAND OF SHADOWS is getting phenomenal advanced praise, including a blurb from Lee Child (see below)!

About the book: Time can't always heal old wounds.

Homicide detective Elouise “Lou” Norton is pulled from her Krav Maga class to investigate the murder of 17-year old Monique Dowler, who has been found hanging in a closet of an under-construction condominium in Los Angeles. For Lou, though, this condo site isn't just another crime scene. The development is owned by Napoleon Crase, a self-made millionaire…and the man who may have murdered Lou's sister Tori 30 years ago. As Lou investigates the death of Monique with her new (and naive) partner, she uncovers links between the two girls and their murders. She is determined to bring both Monique and her sister’s killer to justice—but could they be the same person? The closer Lou gets to uncovering the truth, the greater danger she faces.

About the author: Author Rachel Howzell Hall published her first book A Quiet Storm (Scribner, 2002) to great notice, including reviews from O Magazine, Publishers Weekly (“what really sets this novel apart is Stacey's lively narration, which crackles with dark humor, wisdom and self-deprecation”), and a starred review from Library Journal. Rachel is also a science writer at City of Hope, a national cancer research and treatment institution in Southern California. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter. http://www.rachelhowzell.com/

Why I love LAND OF SHADOWS: Wow! Two things make this whip smart suspense a true stand out. First, Rachel Howzell Hall expertly brings the reader right into the heart and grit of south Los Angeles, a place where gangbangers, skanks, tweakers, muthafuckas, hookers, and drug dealers all hang out at the local Taco Bell. Main character Lou calls it the “Jungle.” She grew up there, so when a girl is murdered in her old neighborhood, she’s called in to investigate. Second, Lou! What an awesome character! She’s my new hero. Her voice is blunt, hilarious, and weirdly endearing.

- Lou on fake purses: “I could spot a fake Chanel handbag quicker than I could spot a hooker on fire.”

- Lou on God: “Then, I whispered a quick prayer—God was like my mother’s ex-boyfriend who I still liked, and so I snuck quick conversations with Him because sometimes, He did cool things for me.”

- Lou on dead bodies: “’Dead’ had a taste—like you’ve eaten globs of rotting hamburger meat while sucking on pennies. That flavor clung to your taste buds, impervious to Listerine and obliterated only by time. But I put on my big-girl panties at every body dump and dealt with the horror.”

- Lou interrogating a suspect: “So help me, I will close that construction site down today if you don’t answer my questions, you goddamned dingleberry.”

How can you not LOVE this woman!

What’s next: Rachel Howzell Hall is working on another book featuring detective Elouise “Lou” Norton, which is already owned by Tor/Forge.


“Intense, gritty and absolutely riveting, Land of Shadows took my breath away. The power of Rachel Howzell Hall’s prose and the sophistication of her plotting grabbed me immediately. Even so, her most dazzling accomplishment is bringing to life LAPD detective Lou Norton, whose passionate voice is still reverberating in my head. A phenomenal book I’m recommending far and wide. This better be the start of a series!” – Hilary Davidson, award-winning author of The Damage Done

“Fast, funny, heartbreaking and wise...Elouise Norton is the best new character you'll meet this year, and Rachel Howzell Hall is the best pure storyteller you'll read this year.” – Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author

“Lou is a good cop and fun to watch—great instincts, a no-nonsense interviewing style, and uncompromising in her efforts to catch the bad guy. She’s a well-rounded character who can keep her sense of humor even when her work hits painfully close to home. As she tells her partner, “I’m sassy, but not Florence-the-Jeffersons’-maid sassy.” Hall’s first book, A Quiet Storm (2002), was a domestic drama about a family facing mental illness; here she moves easily into the suspense genre—where hopefully she and Officer Norton will stay for a long time to come.” – Booklist

“[A] riveting exploration of crime and its repercussions in the poor neighborhoods of Los Angeles. Together with her previous thriller, No One Knows You're Here, Land of Shadows proves that Hall is a star at weaving fast-paced, layered, and gripping stories. She creates an L.A. seething with tension; plots that twist and turn; and heroines bristling with intelligence, heart, and grit. Her women are street smart, sexy, and determined. Having made it through tough childhoods in L.A.'s worst neighborhoods, now they want to give voice—and justice—back to the places they came from.” – Huffington Post

“Hall also has a knack for character. Land of Shadows is an absorbing tale with a tough yet sympathetic protagonist, Elouise Norton, a black female detective with the Los Angeles police department….Overall, the tone of Land of Shadows is dark and intense, the language gritty and authentic. The sights and sounds of the neighborhood come alive…. Hall does an outstanding job capturing the texture of life in the city and of life as a cop—right down to the gallows humor found at many a crime scene—and the complex, riveting storyline is often surprising.” – Los Angeles Review of Books

The Telegraph (U.K) picked LAND OF SHADOWS for their Top Ten Crime Books for Summer, “’Sweet as apple pie…laced with arsenic and rusty razor blades’, Lou Norton is a black female cop worthy of following in Philip Marlowe's footsteps down the mean streets of LA.”

NPR.org featured Rachel Howzell Hall and LAND OF SHADOWS in an article titled “Crime Writer Creates A Hero For Her Beloved, Much-Maligned South LA.”

The Times (U.K.) featured Rachel Howzell Hall and LAND OF SHADOWS (with a great photo!) in an article titled “Rachel Howzell Hall: LA noir.”

“The story shines during Lou's flashbacks to her childhood, which are filled with heart-wrenching memories that make the wisecracking detective more accessible....Recommended for libraries with a strong following for police procedurals and a welcome addition for collections seeking more diverse characters in the mystery genre.” – Library Journal

“Rachel Howzell Hall...writes with skill and flair. Her first novel exhibits a keen sense of pace and place, and an equally keen sense of what makes her wide and varied cast of characters tick. While relying on familiar tropes and motifs (the bumbling partner, the past haunting the present, politics getting in the way of solving crimes, among others), Hall gives them a unique edge.” – Mystery Scene Magazine

“This first procedural from Hall combines a conflicted, gutsy heroine and a complex, many-layered mystery.” – Kirkus

“I found myself absolutely caught up not only in the riveting storyline, but also in the language, which was gritty, tough and absolutely authentic. Hall did an outstanding job of capturing the feel of life as a cop—not only the sights and sounds of the streets, but also the slang and the gallows humor found in many a squad room. If you are looking for a fast-moving and totally engaging book, add Land of Shadows to your summer reading list.” – Crimespree Magazine

“In this mystery featuring the debut of LAPD Homicide Detective Eloise “Lou” Norton, Rachel Howzell Hall gives us a hard-hitting tale of a modern, complex Los Angeles. Norton is a protagonist who searches for answers in the present, while a haunted past also dogs her. Well-written and deftly paced, Land of Shadows is a story that stays with you after the last page is read.” – Gary Phillips, author of Warlord of Willow Ridge

“Spellbinding. Gritty. Original, complex, profound and riveting. This is a voice you have never heard—and will be unable to forget. Prepare to be blown away.” – Hank Phillippi Ryan, Anthony, Agatha and Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author

Praise for the author’s previous title, A Quite Storm:

“The author portrays mental illness (including the denial of it) with realism and sensitivity, but what really sets this novel apart is Stacey's lively narration, which crackles with dark humor, wisdom and self-deprecation. Though Hall tends to paint with broad strokes, she is capable of skillfully imbuing even the most over-the-top scenes with subtlety and fresh insight.” – Publishers Weekly

“Insightful and empathic, first novelist Hall's portrayal of bipolar disorder and its long-term effects on an African American family grabs readers from the start…. A surprisingly accurate and touching drama of chronic mental illness.” – Library Journal

“Rachel Howzell Hall has written a powerful, astonishing tale about the responsibilities -- and horrors -- we sometimes bear in the name of family, and how those familial boundaries can be pushed to the limit. The author does a tremendous job of pulling the reader into the abyss of frustration the characters endure as they deal with the unraveling of one deeply troubled family member.” – Lolita Files Author of Child of God

“A spectacular debut.” – Nikki Giovanni, American Book Award-winning poet

“A Quiet Storm does the job a good family novel should do: it shows us the family secret and how a particular set of cultural or unfortunate genetic traits can create tragedy. Hall's research is abundant, digressing down pleasant paths but never, ever forsaking the main journey. The author's research on bipolar illness is copious and panoramic. She manages to weave in many theories without sounding clinical. And the book is quite funny.” – Curledup.com