cover image Face of Greed: A Detective Emily Hunter Mystery

Face of Greed: A Detective Emily Hunter Mystery

James L’Etoile. Oceanview, $27.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-60809-587-2

L’Etoile (the Detective Penley mysteries) introduces another memorable lead in this impressive series launch. Sacramento, Calif., police detective Emily Hunter is struggling to care for her septuagenarian mother, who has early-onset Alzheimer’s, when she’s handed a high-profile case. Late one night, Emily’s called to the home of prominent local businessman Roger Townsend, who’s dead after an intruder shot him in the back before slitting his throat. When Emily arrives at the scene, the chief of police, Thomas Clark, is already there, at the request of Mayor John Stone, an old friend of Roger’s wife, Lori, who was also injured in the struggle. The fatal break-in appears to match a pattern of recent home invasions, but Hunter feels uneasy about Stone’s interference with her investigation, and wonders if there’s more to the murder than meets the eye. Sure enough, after a little digging, she discovers links between Sacramento’s elite and a shadowy criminal enterprise, and rushes to find answers before she becomes a target herself. L’Etoile’s long career in California criminal justice lends veracity to this page-turner—the courtrooms and precincts feel uncommonly lived-in. Admirers of strong female protagonists will be eager to see more from Hunter down the line. Agent: Elizabeth Kracht, Kimberley Cameron and Assoc. (Nov.)