Robert Ellis is the international bestselling author of Access to Power, The Dead Room, the critically acclaimed Lena Gamble novels City of Fire, The Lost Witness, and Murder Season, and the Detective Matt Jones series, City of Echoes (2015) and The Love Killings (2016). His novels have been translated into more than ten languages and selected as top reads by Booklist, Publishers Weekly, National Public Radio, the Chicago Tribune, the Toronto Sun, the Guardian (UK), People magazine, USA Today, and the New York Times.
Born in Philadelphia, Ellis moved to Los Angeles where he worked as a writer, producer, and director in film, television, and advertising. His books have garnered praise from a diverse group of authors including Janet Evanovich. But perhaps Michael Connelly said it best: "City of Fire is my kind of crime novel. Gritty, tight and assured. Riding with Detective Lena Gamble through the hills of Los Angeles is something I could get used to. She's tough, smart, and most of all, she's real."
For more information about Robert Ellis, visit him online at www.robertellis.net.
PRAISE FOR "CITY OF FIRE"
JANET MASLIN, THE NEW YORK TIMES, "HOT LIST" PICK
"Los Angeles, under a cloud of acrid smoke ... Robert Ellis´s City of Fire is a gripping, spooky crime novel."
"City of Fire is my kind of crime novel. Gritty, tight and assured. Riding with Detective Lena Gamble through the hills of Los Angeles is something I could get used to. She's tough, smart, and most of all, she's real."
JANET EVANOVICH, FOR PEOPLE MAGAZINE
"I just discovered this guy. This book is terrific."
PAUL GOAT ALLEN, CHICAGO TRIBUNE
"City of Fire by Robert Ellis is a no-holds-barred, barnburner of a thriller that blends Los Angeles-style crime fiction a la Michael Connelly with pulse-pounding Dean Koontzian psychological suspense. With a Southern California increasingly threatened by Santa Ana-fueled wildfires as backdrop, the emotionally supercharged story line centers on a killer who terrorizes west Los Angeles ... like Connelly's gritty Bosch saga, City of Fire features a tough but deeply flawed protagonist, a tantalizingly complex plot, fully realized -- and realistic -- characters and, most of all, a palpable intensity. And if that weren't enough, the bombshell plot twist at the novel's conclusion makes this an absolute must read for thriller aficionados."
SARAH WEINMAN, BALTIMORE SUN
"Ellis nicely depicts how the unsolved murder of Lena's musician brother casts a specter over her life and work. But City of Fire is ... about its propulsive plot: the ins and outs of police investigation and how the growing horror of a mad multiple murderer loose on the fiery streets of Los Angeles leads to unexpected decisions, layers of betrayal and a scorcher of an ending."
OLINE H. COGDILL, SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL, BEST MYSTERIES OF THE YEAR
"Robert Ellis' brisk, complex City of Fire is hot stuff. Ellis excels at vivid writing and the expert plotting keeps the reader off-kilter. Ellis takes the police procedural and makes it a tale of personal corruption and desire, where right and wrong overlap. Here, the answers aren't easy as Lena wonders about 'blowback ... what the truth could do to a soul.' L.A., which is written about so often, seems fresh in the hands of an original storyteller such as Ellis."
"Ellis vividly evokes Hollywood as a place of burning desires, where the boundaries between good and evil are blurred beyond distinction. Ellis's prose is crisp, and his plot moves at a good clip. His characters are credible and complex."
"This potboiler dishes it out. This book is fast. Ellis makes it easy to be terrified. Recommended for popular collections."
"An LAPD detective goes out on an emotional limb chasing a violent serial killer. Lena Gamble and her new partner, Hank Novak, are called to an early morning crime scene in a small house near the Pacific Coast Highway ... A complex portrait of the flawed but righteous Lena by Ellis (The Dead Room, 2002, etc.) makes this sure-footed police procedural something special."
MYSTERY SCENE MAGAZINE
"City of Fire begins like a roller coaster, building tension, anxiety and fear. Then it plunges at full speed, spiraling and twisting through scenes that will have hearts pounding and fingers flying through the pages. But there is no smooth braking to a stop in this book. It careens to the end and then flies off the rail with a shocking twist that will leave readers stunned. Robert Ellis is a master of suspense."
PRAISE FOR "THE LOST WITNESS"
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, STARRED REVIEW
"Scorching. Deliciously twisted. Nothing is what it appears to be. Ellis succeeds masterfully in both playing fair and pulling surprise after surprise in a story that feels like a runaway car plunging down a mountain road full of switchbacks."
BOOKLIST, STARRED REVIEW
"Fans of Michael Connelly and T. Jefferson Parker will relish Ellis' second crackling thriller featuring Hollywood robbery-homicide detective Lena Gamble. Ellis (City of Fire, 2007) serves up a killer crime tale with riveting characters and relentless twists."
"Certain powerful and corrupt individuals, some of them with the LAPD, arrange an efficient murder. Then, curiously, the department assigns the case to a detective whom they think will mess up the investigation. Two problems emerge: Robbery-Homicide Detective Lena Gamble (City of Fire) has no intention of failing, and there is an unknown witness helping her. Doggedly, Lena cuts through all the corruption, defies her superiors' orders, and, of course, puts herself in danger repeatedly. Ellis's elaborate puzzle is a nail-biter to the final page. Great LA settings enhance this high-speed thriller. Recommended for all popular collections."
ST. LOUIS DISPATCH
"Ellis writes well and has a good sense of pace and timing. Once you start "The Lost Witness," you'll stay with it through those zigs and zags. And even when you finish the book, it'll spring up like a side effect each time you see those pharmaceutical commercials on the network evening news."
THE GUARDIAN (UK)
"Ellis piles on the Hollywood atmosphere and procedural detail, and the end revelation is expertly timed and genuinely shocking."
THE EVENING TELEGRAPH (UK)
"The Lost Witness is a tough thriller that makes Ellis a name to watch."
"The Lost Witness is another gripping story by a writer who knows the seamy L.A. underworld well."
THE KINGSTON OBSERVER
"City of Fire, the first in the Lena Gamble series, was good, but this second installment, The Lost Witness, is better. Nothing is as it seems in this unputdownable thriller which stars a woman of uncommon courage."
"Our staff is very much in agreement that THE LOST WITNESS may very well be one of the best thrillers that you will read in 2009."
NEW MYSTERY READER
"One of the first things noticed when reading Ellis´s latest (The Lost Witness), much like his first, is the realistic and fantastic job he does with his approach to this high octane tale from a female´s perspective. With not too much, and not too little, his creation of a female heroine comes off with just the right amount of bravado and sensitivity to convince even the most discerning of readers. And to top that off, while the story starts off with an even and steady tone, its steady but ever-increasing pace heads towards the explosive ending like a firecracker; one that explodes with more force and surprises than ever expected. And it´s in reaching this unexpected ending and finding out finally who done what and why that makes this read top-notch; there´s much more here than meets the eye. Filled with greed, big money, family loyalty, and things best left to the reader to discover on their own, this is one that comes highly recommended."
PRAISE FOR "MURDER SEASON"
JOE MEYERS, CONNECTICUT POST/HEARST MEDIA NEWS GROUP
2012 RECIPIENT OF THE ELLERY QUEEN AWARD
"The new Robert Ellis thriller MURDER SEASON balances the reality of high profile murder cases with a wonderful protagonist -- L.A. police detective Lena Gamble. Before you can say 'Chinatown' we are immersed in a tale of mind-boggling corruption where virtually every character in the book has a hidden agenda. Ellis is a master plotter who keeps triggering surprises at regular intervals. Along the way we meet wonderful characters."
"Robert Ellis is not quite a household name yet, but on the strength of MURDER SEASON, his fifth novel, such a destiny seems inevitable. This is a strong, riveting read from beginning to end. Within the space of a few books, Ellis has demonstrated that rare ability to skillfully navigate his readers through a complex plot filled with interesting, dangerous and surprising characters."
ROBIN AGNEW, AUNT AGATHA'S MYSTERY BOOKSTORE
FAVORITE READS OF 2011
"The first chapter in MURDER SEASON is truly masterful, and if I were teaching students a way to write a first chapter that laid in the themes of the book, set a tone, and did it concisely yet beautifully, I think I would use this chapter. Fancy writing shouldn't put you off reading it, however, because to miss this novel would be a crime. And after setting the tone with the first chapter, MURDER SEASON is off and running."
"MURDER SEASON is, at its heart, a kick ass police procedural with lots of twists. Ellis is also wonderful with characters, and he makes you care not only about Lena Gamble, but about several other characters in the book, notably a cop on his way down. Ellis's thoughtful meditations on what's right and what's wrong make MURDER SEASON a standout."
MURDER SEASON - TOP 12 BOOKS OF 2011
"Ellis's Lena Gamble is one character readers cannot get enough of. We want more."
DEADLY PLEASURES MAGAZINE
MURDER SEASON, BEST MYSTERY/CRIME NOVELS OF 2011
BOOK'EM MYSTERIES, PASADENA, CALIFORNIA
MURDER SEASON, NO. 1 BESTSELLING BOOK OF 2011
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS.COM
"MURDER SEASON will sweep through your reading hours like a raging, out of control forest fire. It roars with suspense and growls with danger--and the unexpected and clever conclusion will leave you with your mouth hanging open in shock. You might just need to be put on oxygen after reading this one."
"Ellis's style is mostly straight-ahead and to-the-point, with some noticeably impressionistic passages that open and close the novel. Yet, at every moment when a conclusion seems obvious, Ellis tosses in twists and surprises that propel the story to different levels, keeping us guessing until the final page."
"The combination of unanticipated revelations and the effectively portrayed sense of utter alienation that eats away at Gamble's confidence make MURDER SEASON the most intense and haunting entry of the series to date."