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Robert Ellis
City of Stones (Detective Matt Jones 4)
Robert Ellis, author

Adult; Mystery/Thriller; (Market)

CITY OF STONES (Detective Matt Jones 4) By Robert Ellis A Killer’s Secret. A City’s Fate. A Detective Backed into a Corner With rookie detective Matt Jones recovering from the wounds he suffered in The Girl Buried in the Woods, and with his partner, Denny Cabrera, lucky to have survived but still unable to walk, a reporter from the Los Angeles Times, Ryan Brooks, makes a late-night call requesting a small favor... “I've heard that you’re on medical leave,” Brooks says. “Meet me in the morning, Jones. I need to show you something that I can’t talk about on the phone.” Unfortunately, when Jones shows up at the writer's beach house, he finds a crime scene that’s beyond the pale. And while LAPD brass and two hotshot FBI agents are calling the brutal murders the indiscriminate work of a madman, Matt Jones knows in his heart of hearts that Brooks was killed for something he knew . . . For something he couldn’t talk about on the phone—a secret that someone’s been keeping for three long years. Jones’s drive to turn over the stones of the past is only matched by the murderer’s will to keep that secret buried. As one dead body turns up after the next, Jones finds himself cornered, and now, the killer’s next target. Chased through the night—with everything lost and the Grim Reaper reaching for his back—Jones makes the most shocking discovery of his life. He’s just found the killer’s secret . . .
Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 8.00 out of 10


Plot: This fourth installment in the Detective Matt Jones series moves quickly and never slows down until a satisfying ending surprises the reader. The mystery is methodically solved, which makes it believable. The plot climaxes and unfolds at a steady rate that allows the reader to keep guessing about how it will end.

Prose/Style: With the implementation of the dialogue, the author maintains tension throughout the story by keeping the main character in situations where he is alone or meeting others in uncertain circumstances. Using an appropriate and relevant setting, the author has created a suspenseful tone throughout the book. The dialogue is fluid and intriguing.

Originality: Even though the book is the fourth in the series, it did not feel as though the reader needed to have read the other three in order to appreciate the book. As the story unfolds at an even pace, readers will appreciate the ending.

Character Development/Execution: A concerned main character is reliable in his decisions; strong and likable, the reader wants him to successfully solve the crime. The characters that surround him are well-rounded and intriguing.

Blurb: Fans of the first three books will not be disappointed in this skillfully plotted novel.

Date Submitted: May 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews

CITY OF STONES, A Detective Matt Jones Thriller: Book 4

“A moody, white-knuckle murder tale with an incisive, blunt hero... As in his previous appearances, Matt is a detective who doesn’t pull any punches. But he’s no antihero; he’s generally by-the-book and unmistakably concerned when his actions may put another in harm’s way. Ellis’ story moves at a steady beat; brief scenes and rapid-fire dialogue deftly showcase the detective methodically unraveling the mystery. Moreover, there’s a taut atmosphere, as Matt examines crime scenes alone; covertly meets someone at a fog-covered, darkened house; and even stumbles on another body. The narrative further intensifies once the villain becomes evident. Still, questions linger all the way to the end while the denouement will surely reverberate long after readers have finished this riveting book.”