cover image Skies of Ash

Skies of Ash

Rachel Howzell Hall. Forge, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3636-1

In Hall’s emotionally laden second outing for L.A. homicide detective Elouise “Lou” Norton (after 2014’s Land of Shadows), Lou investigates a suspicious house fire that killed Juliet Chatman and her two kids, eight-year-old Chloe and 12-year-old Cody. Christopher Chatman, Juliet’s husband, who arrived when the house was in flames, was injured trying to save them. The Chatmans appear to have been an ideal family, but Lou soon learns otherwise: Juliet had serious health concerns and Christopher was stumbling in his career as a commodities broker. Autopsies reveal that all three victims had been drugged, suggesting murder. Lou is sure that Christopher is behind the killings, but the Chatmans’ best friends—insurance attorney Ben Oliver, and his lawyer wife, Sarah—believe Christopher is innocent. Meanwhile, Lou has to fight through her own problems with her unfaithful husband, Greg. This soap opera of a mystery builds to a startling conclusion. [em]Agent: Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. (May) [/em]