Denise Hamilton, hailed by the "Chicago Sun-Times" as "one of the brightest new stars in the mystery world," delivers a riveting new novel in her critically acclaimed series featuring her uniquely appealing heroine -- sassy, street-smart Los Angeles Times reporter Eve Diamond. Set in L.A.'s vibrant Russian immigrant community, where new money and raw power collide with hidden agendas left over from the Cold War, Prisoner of Memory confirms Hamilton's reputation as one of the most astute writers of engrossing, atmospheric crime fiction, illuminating the social realities of contemporary Los Angeles. While investigating the sighting of a mountain lion in L.A.'s Griffith Park, Eve comes across the body of a teenage boy who has been shot to death execution-style. The son of a Russian e migre scientist, the victim was an exemplary student with no ties to gangs or drugs. Was his murder a random act of violence, the result of a teenage love triangle, or the work of the Russian Mafia? Eve, also the child of Russian immigrants, feels an instant rapport with the boy's grief-stricken father, Sasha Lukin, a cultured old-world gentleman who she senses is not telling her all he knows about his son's murder. Forced to partner on the story with her newsroom rival, police reporter Josh Brandywine, whose interest in her turns disconcertingly personal, Eve uncovers connections between the victim's family and a fascinating, chameleon-like FBI agent and a brutal Russian mobster who warns Eve not to pry into the teenager's death. Complicating Eve's pursuit of the story is the arrival at her door of a young Russian man who claims to be her long-lost cousin. Is he truly a link to the familyshe thought she'd lost or an impostor sent by the Russian mob to spy on her? As the violence surrounding the Lukin family escalates to encompass Eve, and as she moves closer to unraveling the motives of a brilliant, vengeful killer, "Prisoner of Memory" races to a thrilling resolution that holds surprising personal revelations about Eve herself.
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Denise Hamilton is a writer-journalist whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Cosmopolitan, and The New York Times and is the author of five acclaimed Eve Diamond crime novels, Prisoner of Memory, Savage Garden, Last Lullaby, Sugar Skull, and The Jasmine Trade, all of which have been Los Angeles Times bestsellers. She is also the editor of and a contributor to the short story anthology Los Angeles Noir, winner of the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association Award for Best Mystery of 2007. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two young children. Visit her at www.denisehamilton.com.From Publishers Weekly:
Eve Diamond, having investigated Southern California's Asian and Latino communities, tackles the Russians in Hamilton's entertaining, well-researched fifth thriller to feature the ambitious L.A. Times reporter (after 2005's Savage Gardens). Eve is following reports of a mountain lion in Griffith Park when she discovers the bullet-ridden body of Dennis Lukin, the teenage son of recent Russian émigrés. That night, Eve is visited by Mischa Tsipin, an illegal Russian immigrant running from gangsters to whom he owes money and claiming to be a cousin of Eve's (her mother was Russian). At considerable personal risk, the indefatigable Eve sorts through false identities and changing alliances, confronting old and new Russian émigrés and their mafia as well as her own family history. Lending support are FBI agent Thomas Clavendish, an intractable cold warrior, and her reporter colleague, Josh Brandywine. As usual, Hamilton richly evokes seething, polyglot L.A., but the reader's suspension of disbelief may sag by the final shootout under the weight of too many coincidences and subplots. (Apr.)
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