Title: L.A. Burning by D.C. Taylor
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 282 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
An ex-con hits the streets of L.A. to find her twin sister’s killer. Is it a mission of justice—or a quest for vengeance?
Cody Bonner, identical twin, daughter of a major movie star, a teenage street kid in Los Angeles, a bank robber at nineteen, and a prison inmate at twenty. When she’s released after six years, she returns to L.A. with a purpose: to learn the truth about her sister Julie, who washed up on a Malibu beach a year earlier. The connection between the twins was so powerful that the day Julie died, Cody collapsed in the prison yard. Now that bond is driving her to seek justice—at any cost.
Using bootleg skills she learned in prison, Cody begins to peel back the layers of mystery. Her search leads her to the darker alleys behind the dazzle of the film business, and into the world of high-powered agents, high-priced call girls, and men with a taste for sexual violence. As she homes in on her mother’s powerful agent, Harry Groban, a man with ugly accusations of abuse in his past, Cody becomes more deeply enmeshed in the life she left behind as a teenager: her mother’s star power, her former classmates-turned-producers, glitzy parties, and a handsome former love who knows all the players. Is Groban at the center? Could there be others who had a hand in Julie’s murder?
As Cody gets closer to the truth, another ghost from her criminal past is stalking her—one that could put her back in prison for years.
L.A. Burning by D.C. Taylor is a beguiling revenge mystery.
Ex-con Cody Bonner is determined to find her twin sister Julie’s killer. Her mother Karen is a popular actress who would rather Cody not go looking for trouble. The police have no leads so Cody gets as much information she can about what her sister was doing before her death. Trying to figure out if Julie’s murder is linked to her career as a lawyer, Cody discovers her sister worked with a classmate of theirs, Curtis Whyle. He has left the firm and now works in the movie business. Through her renewed romance with him, Cody is reacquainted with Terry Gwinn and Mark Siegel who also pal around with Hollywood elites. Cody’s best suspect turns out to be agent to the stars, Henry Groban. Will her risky attempts to uncover the truth lead to the evidence she is searching for?
Cody and Julie might have been twins but their personalities could not have been more different. While Julie paid more attention to getting good grades, Cody skipped school and dabbled with drugs. Although their mother paid for her to go to rehab, Cody slips into addiction and eventually becomes homeless. After turning to bank robbery, Cody has just completed her sentence.
Cody hopes to find answers at her sister’s place. She also wants to crack the password on Julie’s laptop. Utilizing her connections from her past and her time on the streets, Cody’s behavior becomes increasingly reckless in her quest to locate Julie’s killer. At the same time, she must dodge the detective who believes she is responsible for other unsolved bank robberies.
L.A. Burning is a tightly-plotted mystery with a stubborn lead protagonist. Cody is tough, intelligent and will go to any lengths to find Julie’s killer. She sometimes has a little tunnel vision as she winnows down the suspect list and she makes perilous choices as she plots her revenge. The detective on her heels is dogged as he tries to find evidence to arrest her for the bank robberies. With a dangerous fire bearing down on the city, D.C. Taylor brings this suspenseful mystery to a twist-filled conclusion.