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City Of Fire (Lena Gamble #1)

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  980 Ratings  ·  100 Reviews
When a vibrant young woman is found in bed by her hotshot businessman husband, carved from belly to throat with a very sharp knife, the elite Robbery-Homicide division of the LAPD responds in full force. Best-case scenario for lead Detective Lena Gamble: Nikki Brant's husband killed her, case closed, and on to the next crime scene before the ravenous Hollywood media can ge ...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published May 29th 2007 by Minotaur Books (first published 2007)
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Feb 15, 2012 Manray9 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Disappointing. Much too similar to Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch series, but without the atmosphere and the story development. The villain apparently possesses supernatural powers -- he can break into any building, observe trained police officers at close quarters (as in the very next room!) without being detected, and cannot be bested in a fight! Too unrealistic! Detail undermining the author’s credibility: Rifles and shotguns are not the same. Police officers know this. Ellis doesn’t.
Det. Lena Gambrel is assigned the lead responsibility on a case of a young woman found murdered. The victim's body was laid out as if the killer was posing her for someone else to see.

The victim had sex recently but the DNA didn't match her husband's. Lena finds info in the home with the number seven on it. Thinking that this was left by the killer, she looks into similiar cases and finds that the DNA matches that of two other women who were killed where other men were convicted.

The author does
First book in the Lena Gamble series. Excellent police procedural. Lots of unknown items until the end. Will definitely read more by this author. 4.5 stars
Chica Sombra
Este es un libro de los que a mí me gustan: novela negra en todo el sentido de la palabra. Tiene casi 400 páginas por lo que te da tiempo a tomarle cariño a los personajes, a los escenarios, incluso a las víctimas o al asesino.

Está ambientada en la ciudad de Los Ángeles y esto también me ha gustado, he descubierto zonas de la ciudad, establecimientos, etc... por lo que digo siempre que un libro es un billete de avión a cualquier destino.

Nos encontramos con un asesino en serie apodado Romeo, que
Christine Howard
Dec 19, 2016 Christine Howard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: moonmaid2016
Nice tight mystery. Actually a mystery within a mystery. Lena and her partner are investigating the murder of a woman. Husband seems to be the one, but Lena finds a lead which connects it to another case. Also, the murder of her brother five years ago is unsolved. Who is the person hidden in the shadows who killed her brother? She suspects someone.
Oct 29, 2016 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy Robert Ellis's work. I also like a good crime mystery with a strong female protagonist. What I don't necessarily like is when the protagonist is made to appear broken. Lena has some personal issues she wrestles with, but the author does a good job balancing them out with a satisfying mystery.
Oct 26, 2016 Cat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This suspenseful mystery was filled with twists, merging an old murder and it's investigation with that of a serial killing spree. Ellis developed the main characters well, and descriptions of LA and it's turmoil pulls the reader in.

Brett Milam
Aug 17, 2015 Brett Milam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spoilers ahead.

I’m breaking my rule this time because I want to get into the nooks and crannies of this book, so sorry.

The book, the first in a new series starring the detective, Lena Gamble, is the cat-and-mouse game between Gamble, along with her fellow detectives, and a sadistic rapist-killer known affectionately as Romeo. In the background is Gamble’s history wherein her brother was brutally murdered five years ago and corruption concerns in the LAPD itself.

First and foremost, Romeo is a rea
Apr 18, 2014 Lainy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Time taken to read - 5 days

Publisher - Pan Books

Pages - 380

Blurb from Goodreads

When a businessman arrives home to find his wife in bed, carved from belly to throat with a very sharp knife, the elite Robbery-Homicide division of the L.A.P.D responds in full force and Detective Lena Gamble prepares for her first major case.

At first all fingers point towards the victim's husband, but best-case scenarios only happen in films and it soon transpires that this murder is one of a series of brutal crime
Krystin Rachel

WHAT?! SO GOOD. 5 stars, straight up.

I am always searching for a new character series I can get excited about. My dreambook criteria goes like this. One: a kickass female heroine, who is human and knowable with just a sprinkle of tortured. Just a sprinkle! Two: dead bodies. And three: I don't want to be able to figure out the mystery until the author wants me to.

Trying new books, I usually get two-out-three in random combination. This book checks off all three boxes. It's true, there is a Tho
May 18, 2010 Maddy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007-reads
PROTAGONIST: Lena Gamble, homicide detective
SETTING: Los Angeles
RATING: 4.25

Lena Gamble has recently been promoted to homicide detective with the LAPD. Among her first assignments is to stop a serial killer who is brutally murdering attractive women. His first victim is a pregnant woman; a series of other murders are committed with the police never being able to find anything that will lead them to the perpetrator. Although initially it seems that these are sexual assaults, the murder of a male
Jun 27, 2015 Nadjab rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Erste Sätze
Sie wälzte sich im Bett herum, schmiegte die Wange in einen Zipfel ihres Kopfkissens und kuschelte sich noch tiefer hinein. Träumen. Schlafen.

Eine junge schwangere Frau wird tot in ihrem Bett gefunden – vom Bauch bis zur Kehle aufgeschlitzt. Detective Lena Gamble von der Mordkommission in Los Angeles glaubt zunächst, dass die Frau von ihrem Mann getötet wurde. Aber als weitere brutale Frauenmorde verübt werden, wird klar, dass die schrecklichen Taten auf das Konto eines per
Aug 07, 2015 Shaun rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, 2015
When I started reading City of Fire I was reminded of a number of authors because the book had a distinct American feel. Namely two authors that I first borrowed from the library many years ago: Jonathan Kellerman and Joseph Wambaugh. Despite the often horrific crimes you often read about in the genre, the setting of a book is important to me and I loved picturing Los Angeles through David Ellis's writing as he has captured the city brilliantly. Some say crime fiction set in LA is overdone, I di ...more
Jun 09, 2008 Zach rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mila Zuliana
Jul 04, 2012 Mila Zuliana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How I missed reading thriller! It was so… thrilling!

This book was actually an assigned reading for my course. Yes, what a change. When I saw that this time it was not another heavy, noted literature work, I almost jumped with joy. From the cover and blurbs, I knew it would be awesome. And it was!

I had a phase with crime novels. I don’t know why it stopped, but I rarely read them anymore. So when I read and finished this book in only two sittings (well, two sessions, to be technically exact, beca
Mar 07, 2015 Tuyk rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I picked this book up based on a Goodreads recommendation. It didn’t make me think ‘I’ve got to read this book,’ merely ‘This sounds interesting.’

I’m glad I tried it. The story caught my attention from the first chapter. Lena Gamble, the main character, is newly promoted to the LAPD’s elite RHD and investigating two crimes – the five-year-old unsolved murder of her brother and the brutal torture-murder of a young wife. I liked Lena, who for once, wasn’t an alcoholic or ex-alcoholic. The ‘dark sp
Sep 20, 2016 PaulHargreaves rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book where Ellis taps Michael Connelly on the shoulder, and when Connelly turns around he finds Ellis is ahead in the queue. One of the few books to be added to my "reread as soon as possible" list.
Jul 31, 2015 Ingo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Kindle eBook bought July 28th, 2015 had a lot of obvious (scan?) errors, some I send to Amazon. As most or all errors where of the kind that a spellchecker should have caught, I think that and/or an editor was not involved, and even for a cheap book that was distracting. Hopefully for later readers this will corrected.

The book and story was too long with the places and backstory, could have been 20% shorter. Still, a page-turner, with a few twists.
An an insight in the mind of a serial rapist
May 12, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 20, 2015 Ruth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-modern
c2007: FWFTB: conspiracy, Romeo, brother, LAPD, forest. Frankly, I found this a little ho-hum which is worrying as the murders themselves are pretty horrific. Perhaps it was because I just couldn't draw any emotion from the front line character. The writing style was great and the plot is interesting but far from unique. Michael Connelly is quoted on the cover and describes it as "Gritty, tight and assured.." Well, I suppose it is 'tight' in that there are no lengthy internal monologues to negat ...more
Humm, I know this is written by a man, but it has the "feel" of being written by a woman- Not that there is anything wrong with that at all. It is something about the descriptions that has a feminine touch.

What starts off to be a rather humdrum murder mystery, moves into quite a complex story involving several murders and maybe several murderers.

It did take me a while to get interested in continuing this story, but when the first twist came I was hooked. I did like Lena (the heroine cop) I liked
Shonna Froebel
This book is fast-moving with lots of action, lots of violence and lots of suspense. The main character, Lena Gamble, is a young detective still hurting from the unsolved murder of her brother not that long ago. In her first case as the lead detective, she and her partner Novak are paired with another team. The victim is brutally murdered, and yet doesn't seem to have fought her killer. When her husband's alibi doesn't pan out, her is the obvious suspect. But things aren't always that simple. Ev ...more
Lily Martínez
Jan 23, 2015 Lily Martínez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Debo confesar que es la primera novela policíaca que he leído, y creo que es hermoso empezar por estos rumbos con una historia tan pero tan buena (Al menos para mi.) Aunque no lo crean soy una persona exigente a la hora de leer, pero en cuanto llegué un poco lejos con la historia de Gamble (Por ahí de la página 50) supe que estaba leyendo una historia muy buena.
La historia te va llevando poco a poco, me gustan los escritores que te hacen pensar, y eso fue lo que Ellis logró en mi: Llegaba a mis
Oct 29, 2009 Marca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent cop mystery. Even though the reader learns the identity of the perp early in the book, the story still keeps one guessing until the end. I am not a fan of books where the lead character's personal baggage is a big part of the story. This book pulled it off better than most. The lead cop's brother was killed five years ago and the current case may or may not be part of his death. The reader endures minor hand-wringing on the cop's part, but it doesn't go off the grid as do many books.
Apr 14, 2016 Little_Noel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Me encanta la novela negra y cuando vi que este libro se publicaba no tardé en comprarlo. Desde que lo recibí hasta que lo terminé pasaron 3 días. No podía dejarlo porque la trama te absorbe y quieres saber más y más. El personaje de Lena me encanta. Normalmente los escritores hacen que lleguemos a cogerle tirria a la protagonista pero en este caso no pasó. El leer el punto de vista del asesino es otro gran acierto pero me supo a poco, quería saber más. Y el final... No lo esperaba para nada.

Pinkiland Kristie
Apr 27, 2016 Pinkiland Kristie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Robert Ellis ha sabido llevar un libro muy bien ambientado, con unos personajes bastante realistas, y un misterio digno de cualquier ejemplar de novela negra.
[Lee la entrada completa en el blog!!]
Jan 19, 2013 Penny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 3rd book by Robert Ellis I've read that has the same main character - Lena Gamble.
I think he has a winner in Lena Gamble and I hope he continues to write more mystery/thrillers using her as one of the main characters. As with the other 2 books I read, the story kept me guessing who the bad guy(s) were and I didn't have it figured out in advance. Kept me guessing right up to the end. I like these kinds of books where you don't see the bad guy right away, but you are kept on your toes
Agnieszka "Aeth" Jędrzejczyk
A nicely done cop mystery thriller, with a strong female protagonist and an eye for detail. I particularly liked Lena's intuitive side and her unwavering detemirnation in solving not only the lead investigation, but the mystery of her own past. The language reads so effortlesly it was a pleasure to turn the pages. The only two things I didn't like was the fact that of course it has to be a rape case - you can add the implication on your own - and the ending, which feels rather unconvincing. I wi ...more
David Gómez

Ciudad de fuego es una novela policial de las de toda la vida, de esas que gustan leer para ir siguiendo los pasos de los policías y, de las que sabemos tienen alguna trampa donde caer: y caemos. Además, se centra en el caso sin perderse mucho con aspectos de la vida personal de los protagonistas.

Leer la reseña completa en mi blog Cruce de Caminos

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Robert Ellis is the international bestselling author of "Access to Power", "The Dead Room", and the critically acclaimed L.A. Times bestseller "City of Fire", "The Lost Witness", and "Murder Season" - selected as top reads by Booklist, Publishers Weekly, National Public Radio, The Chicago Tribune, The Toronto Sun, The Guardian (UK), The Evening Telegraph (UK), People Magazine, USA Today, and The N ...more
More about Robert Ellis...

Other Books in the Series

Lena Gamble (3 books)
  • The Lost Witness (Lena Gamble, #2)
  • Murder Season (Lena Gamble, #3)

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